Atlanta History Center highlights Olympic spirit

8:07 AM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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The Centennial Olympic Games Museum at the Atlanta History Center.

ATLANTA -- In a wing of the Atlanta History Museum, America's only complete collection of modern Olympic torches and medals is housed in a permanent exhibition.

It includes another London Olympics, the one in 1948. It was organized after the the two previous games were canceled during World War II.

"The Olympic movement has endured because it is about our commonality," said Don Rooney, curator of the Centennial Olympic Games Museum.

It represents about 15 percent of the artifacts collected by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

On display, you'll find a muddy home plate from the baseball venue, a pair of purple shoes that Michael Johnson wore during the Olympic trials in Atlanta, and three tennis balls from Andre Agassi's gold-medal winning match.

There's also a small section dedicated to the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park.

The exhibit opened in 2006 on the 10-year-anniversary of the Atlanta games.

It highlights the founders of Atlanta's Olympic movement, known as the Atlanta Nine, including Billy Payne and then-Mayor Andrew Young.

"It's the people story that we try to show here in the exhibit," Rooney said. 

The Atlanta History Center will hold a special family program called "Go for the Gold" on Saturday, August 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You'll have a chance to meet some former Olympians and even test your own athletic skills.

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