Sport: More than heroes and legends

26 September 2003 - 18 July 2004

Sport: more than heroes and legends is a celebration of this nation’s outstanding sporting history. There’ll be something for everyone, whether you’re an athlete, a fan, a coach, an administrator or a sideline mum. Over 500 items are on display, loaned from the MCG’s Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum, New South Wales Hall of Champions, private and corporate collections and the Powerhouse Museum’s stores, featuring treasured objects from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Unmask the heroes and legends, hear their stories, some familiar, some forgotten and some unknown. Learn some new sporting tips and skills or discover something you never knew about your favourite sport. You’ll have the chance to participate, you’ll get hands-on experience of scientific phenomena, have the opportunity to relive sports magic moments and find out how your body works when you play sport.

Weekend warriors and watchers
Playing the most popular sports

On weekends nearly half of us are playing or watching Australia’s favourite sports. Cricketers are spread out across ovals, courts are covered with netballers stretching and basketballers leaping, fields are filled with soccer players and footballers running, kicking and jumping. At each of these venues, fans will be found cheering and screaming their support.


Check out our MCG loans: from Bodyline and Bradman to Lillee, Border and Waugh. The Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum have also provided some extraordinary items such as memorabilia from the likes of soccer great Johnny Warren; objects belonging to rugby league legends like Dally Messenger. And with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, we’ve added a touch of the Rah Rah including items like John Eales’ Wallaby coat and Mark Ella’s Australian blazer.

Bats, balls, bows, bullets
Sports gear meets the space age
Tennis, shooting, archery and javelin are just some of the many sports that involve propelling or capturing a ball, bullet, arrow or other projectile. Find out in this section how the specialised equipment used in these sports has dramatically changed over the years in design and materials — with resulting improvements in performance.

You’ll never be so close to; Simon Fairweather’s bow and arrow; or Russell Mark’s Beretta. Then there’s loans from such stars as Beach Volleyballer Kerrie Potthurst, Hockey star Claire Mitchell-Taverner and Squash sensation Sara Fitzgerald.


Elite and Olympic sports
Australians at the world’s games
This introductory section deals with Australia’s place within international sport. For a country with a small population, Australia has made a big mark on international sport. It is here that you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of our greatest Olympic athletes. See Betty Cuthbert’s Olympic Medals; Gold medals belonging to Raelene Boyle and Debbie Flintoff-King; Taekwondo gold medallist, Lauren Burns’ outfit; the full body running suit worn by Cathy Freeman; Susie O’Neill’s Australian Olympic team training swim uniform; Ian Thorpe’s Adidas bodysuit; Kathy Watt’s cycling suit and Louise Sauvage’s race chair.

The great outdoors
Sports in the elements
Wind in your face, racing through water and snow, wheels on the road, soaring through the air – experiencing the natural environment is an important part of the appeal of many sports. Some of these activities have long traditions; others were born yesterday and challenge conventions.

Extreme gear includes “Jawa Speedway” motorcycle; a 12 metre kitesurfing kite; the outrigger (skiing crutch) of ski legend, Michael Milton; skate art by David Griggs; skating suit of Gold medallist, Steven Bradbury and Alisa Camplin’s ski’s.

Heroes and legends
And your personal best

The finale of the exhibition is Heroes and Legends. What makes a sporting hero or legend? Why are some performances – and personalities – celebrated while others are overlooked or forgotten?

Not all heroes of Australian sport are household names – some are not even players. They are the people who help make sport happen in the community, who support the elite athlete of tomorrow and who volunteer their time coaching, refereeing and organising others. They are the unsung heroes of Australian sport.

In this section you will discover the Forest of Fame housing six Legends and three Unsung Heroes.