Sport for Sports' Sake: Athletes and Ethnicity in Danish America

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Have you trained your body to perform faster, stronger, better?

Have you been part of a team, working together to compete?

Have you cheered for a team that connects you to your home or your school?


The Museum of Danish America celebrates all of these aspects of Sport in the exhibition "Sport for Sport's Sake: Athletes and Ethnicity in Danish America."  Many artifacts from the museum’s collection are featured, including gymnastics equipment, trophies from tug-of-war tournaments (won by a group of Danish immigrant cousins), bicycles,  and other materials used in the context of Danish-American sport. Photographs of groups and individuals exemplify Danish-American athletes, both historic and contemporary, including the fields of basketball, football, freestyle skiing, and others. The exhibit explores four aspects of sport: Fitness, Competition, Camaraderie, and Profession.

Special programs related to this exhibition include:

June 23, 2016, "Icelandic Strength Contests" with Stephen Weiting, University of Iowa

July 7, 2016, "Competitive Women: Athletes & Coaches - An Historical Perspective" with Carol Haussermann, Dana College

See the Upcoming Events on our Facebook page for more information about these and other activities.

This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Additional support comes from the Danish American Athletic Club of Chicago, Illinois. A traveling version of this exhibition is made possible by the Albert V. Ravenholt Fund.  For information about how your community might host the traveling version of this exhibition, please contact the museum.  


  • Banner from the Danish American Athletic Club

  • Gymnastics team at the Danish American Athletic Club, Chicago

  • Track shoes used by a Danish-American high school athlete in the 1970s