All but one of Carl Lewis’ Olympic medals on display in new Smithsonian museum

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture that will open on Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C., with a dedication by President Barack Obama, will include many items on display donated by Carl Lewis.

The highlights are nine of Lewis’ 10 Olympic track and field medals. Lewis donated a large amount of his memorabilia to the museum in 2012 and 2013.

“I was watching National Geographic [in 2009],” Lewis said, according to Fox Sports in Houston. “The curator came on and talked about the new African American Museum. So I said, ‘What if I just left my medals to them?’ If I did that people could see them. No one would have to ask me where they are. Then everyone could enjoy them. To me it isn’t that I’m giving the medals away. It’s that I’m sharing them.”

The Olympic medal not on display in the museum is Lewis’ 1984 Olympic 100m gold, which has rested in his father’s casket for 29 years.

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