The Avenue of Champions, which runs through the Sports Legends Experience at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, is lined with 12 bronze statues that represent 16 athletes with ties to Indiana – Larry Bird, Tamika Catchings, Reggie Miller, A.J. Foyt, Jr., and others.
Some of the best in the world at their game, they left a name in their sport, a legacy in their community, and a special place in the hearts of fans.
And who better to represent the Horseshoe than the guy who was the heart of the team during his 14 seasons with the Colts – wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis today unveiled a statue of Reggie Wayne as part of the Colts Sports Legends Experience.
"He's a phenomenal person as well as athlete," said Kimberly Harms, Director of Media and Public Relations for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. "That was a really big thing, we wanted to make sure that we had people who really were inspiring athletes and who were good people, too. So, he was a perfect fit."
Wayne joins Peyton Manning, who had his own bronze statue unveiled outside of Lucas Oil Stadium last October.
"I was a kid back in the day and I looked up to so many people and just to have the opportunity for somebody to recognize me and to have a bronze statue at The Children's Museum, it really makes me excited," Wayne said. "Peyton Manning got a statue outside the stadium and I got one outside the Children's Museum. I like where I am."
With a number of great players from that era of Colts football, we may see more bronze statues around Indianapolis in the future.
The man who sculpted the bronze statues at the Sports Legends Experience is a Canadian artist named Brian Cooley. If you've been to The Children's Museum, or even driven by it – you've likely seen his work.
"Brian Cooley is actually the gentleman who sculpted our dinosaurs bursting out of the south end," said Harms.
A Super Bowl champion and six-time selection to the NFL Pro Bowl, Reggie Wayne enjoyed a legendary career. But just like all the athletes represented on the Avenue of Champions, he faced challenges too.
"Many of these legends confronted obstacles in their lives - poverty, racism, physical disabilities - yet they persevered, driven by a resolve to do the best they could despite what stood in their way," said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, President and CEO of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
Anyone with physical ability can become an athlete. But it takes someone special to become a legend.
"The Museum wants visitors to understand that legends don't become legends the easy way," Patchen said, "they take the lessons they learn from mistakes, failures, and their passions and apply them to everything they do."
Reggie Wayne didn't just catch footballs.
He put his heart and soul into the team, the fans, and the game.
And he'll be remembered for it forever – a legend cast in bronze on the Avenue of Champions in front of the Indianapolis Colts Football Experience.
Reggie Wayne will be inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor during the Colts game against the Tennessee Titans on November 18th.
For more information on the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience, go to: https://www.childrensmuseum.org/sports-experience.