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Body & Sport

The exhibition ‘Body & Sport’ considers the connection between sport and
the body in its broadest sense, both physical and psychological.


The body, the way it moves and the changes that occur in the body and the brain when practicing sport are just some of the aspects covered in this exhibition, which presents the full range of scientific information to explain what happens in our bodies and heads when we practice sport, whether as a top athlete or an amateur enthusiast. By looking at various individual and team sports, it considers sport as a political, social, scientific and media phenomenon, examining its positive aspects and what happens when it is pushed to the extreme.

‘Sports stations’

The first part of the exhibition is a multi-sensory interactive area that calls on the visitor’s mental and physical abilities. Each station features exercises combined with interactive video installations. They challenge the public to put their reactions, sense of balance, endurance, precision and coordination to the test.

Scientific explanations outline the connections between muscle power, neurophysiological capacity and performance. The visitor can get involved physically by completing a simple technical task in order to compare his performance with that of experienced athletes. The stations provide a fun way for visitors to try out the physical skills involved in different disciplines: functional training, football, rock climbing, biathlon, boxing and tennis.

‘Sport today’

The second part of the exhibition is deliberately designed to encourage reflection and analysis, looking at sport as a social phenomenon. Since the beginning of the 20th century, increasing numbers of sporting competitions such as the Olympic Games have appeared and gained in popularity. The public’s fascination with speed, energy and performance, but also with the body beauty, is of interest to scientists. Various audiovisual modules and infographic presentations, such as one which looks at chronophotographic sequencing, explain the general mechanisms of the moving body and the notions of competitive spirit and pushing oneself beyond the limit.

Lastly, we are reminded how history has shown that practicing a sport is not without its hazards. Intense effort can result in severe pain and even loss of life. Age, physical and mental condition, the equipment used: we need to learn to recognize the body’s needs and spot when it reaches its limits, using contemporary technology to optimize sporting performance and supervise sport more effectively.

Target audience: Families and children aged 7 and above

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  • sports
  • body
  • science



The city of Paris boasts two prestigious centres promoting science and technology, the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and the Palais de la Découverte. From January 1st, 2010, they have joined forces to create a new institution: Universcience placed under the joint responsibility of the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry for Culture. With almost 3.5 million visitors each year (3 million at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and 550 000 at the Palais de la découverte), Universcience is the fourth most popular cultural establishment in Paris after the Louvre, Versailles and the Georges-Pompidou Centre.

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