National Archives News

National Archives Debuts Sports GIF Pack to Fuel Your Retro Workout

By Victoria Macchi | National Archives News

WASHINGTON, September 27, 2022 — The public may understandably not think of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) when planning a workout. 

It’s ok, we’re not offended. We embrace that our workouts are, in fact, delightfully dated.

Take for example, Walter Camp. We’ve been doing “the wave” on our breaks.


Or maybe you want to hit a personal record at your next lifting session? 

Let’s introduce Tommy Kono, who learned to lift heavy while imprisoned at an incarceration camp during World War II, then went on to become an Olympian.


If you want to send your workout buddy a GIF for some early morning motivation, look for #ArchivesAllAmerican wherever you usually get them, like the search bar on your texting app, and thank Darren Cole, Digital Community Manager, for creating the bite-sized sports image collection to coincide with the All-American: The Power of Sports exhibit that opened at the National Archives Museum this month.

Cole makes GIFs from videos and photos in the National Archives to provide more versatile ways for the public to learn about and access NARA records—and explore the histories of early sports standouts.


“Learning about the adversities many of these athletes faced was a humbling experience. Wilma Rudolph was struck with childhood polio, while Tommy Kono spent much of his adolescence in an internment camp,” he told National Archives News. “Some of their clips were tailor made for GIFs. I love how Johnny Kilbane mugs for the camera during his boxing routines”


NARA's GIF collection has more than 1,400 items and 4.5 billion views. Find more of our sports GIFs on Giphy.