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

The Smithsonian Institution Holds Press Preview For New National Museum Of African American History And Culture

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 14: Nine of the 10 Olympic medals won by American track and field athlete Carl Lewis are on display in the Power of Place exhibit on the third floor Community Galleries at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture during the press preview on the National Mall September 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. Filled with exhibits and artifacts telling the story of the first Africans in the United States and their descendents, the 400,000-square-foot museum will open to the public on September 24. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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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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