Saturday, March 8, 2014

Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas

Where: National Museum of American History

When: through April 2, 2014

If you're on your way to the 2nd Floor, East Wing to see any of the exhibits in that area, take a few minutes to see this display case of items belonging to Gabby Douglas, the young African-American gymnast.  She was the first US gymnast to win both the individual all-around gold medal and to be part of a gold medal winning team in the same Olympics.

"The field of sports is a powerful lens on American democracy" is a quotation from the wall notes, and it's quite true.  When all people participate in sports, regardless of their background, it is often an indication that there is or will be greater participation in all aspects of American life for groups that have been excluded.  Don't think that sports aren't important to the advancement of society.

This is a small display, and one assumes that it may be part of a larger show on African-Americans and sports in the new museum that's slowly emerging from the construction site next door to American History.  Next year is when it's due to open, and it will be great to have a new destination for lunch time excursions!

Verdict: Unless you're a great fan of gymnastics, this probably doesn't merit a trip all on its own, but you can easily add it on to a trip to see another show at American History.

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