Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers focuses on 35 athletes and their performances in 17 different sports. Artifacts emphasize such issues as women's changing roles, racial and ethnic integration, the emergence of sports celebrities and superstars, nationalism, perceptions about human physical limitations, and technological breakthroughs that enhanced performance and participation. Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers reminds visitors of all these issues that athletes encounter and the effect their personal victories, both on and off the field, exert on the nation’s consciousness.
This exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Audi was the exclusive national sponsor of the exhibition. The National Constitution Center’s showing of the Sports exhibition was sponsored in part by the Philadelphia Daily News. In addition, the National Constitution Center presented Local Legends, a tribute to hometown heroes who have made a difference in the Philadelphia sports community. These athletes have not only broken barriers and shattered records, but have also made an impact on our lives. This special section includes a variety of artifacts, images, and memorabilia from some of the biggest names in Philadelphia sports history.