These places play Olympic sports

The Olympic Games open this Friday in London. Among the most popular sports of the games are soccer, gymnastics, and track and field. We decided to take a look at some places that pay homage to these most beloved sports.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Underneath the bleachers of the Estadio Municipal, a 38,000-seat stadium that once hosted the 1950 World Cup, you'll find the Museu do Futebol. Even if there is no game going on outside, prepare to be throttled by the roar of a crowd. The museum wants you to get a sense of the volume when the stadium is filled to capacity. Inside, you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of the 20th century, told through Brazil's passion for soccer. The museum pays tribute to the icons of the sport through displays, photography and multimedia. There are interactive exhibits that let you dribble against a Pele hologram or take your chances at the net, either as a goalkeeper or a kicker.

For more details, call 5511- 3664-3848 or visit museudofutebol.org.br

Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Science Museum Oklahoma is host to the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame exhibit, which honors the Nadias, Mary Lous and Bart Conners of the sport. Like most of the hands-on displays at the museum, the gymnastics exhibit is intended to inspire cartwheeling and tumbling, so kids can test their gymnastic skills on the floor mats, balance beams and other apparati.

For more info about the exhibit, call 405-235-5600 or visitwww.sciencemuseumok.org or ighof.org.

Washington Heights, N.Y.

The National Track and Field Hall of Fame is housed on three floors of the Armory Foundation in this northern Manhattan neighborhood. It pays tribute to athletes and coaches who have contributed to the sport, like Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Bruce Jenner and Florence Griffith-Joyner. The interactive and educational exhibits — which traveled to Atlanta for the Centennial Games in 1996 — also teach visitors athlete training and nutrition, and how technology changed the sport. Also featured is an "Olympic Moment" film by Bud Greenspan.

For more details, visit, www.usatf.org/halloffame.

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