SBJ/March 12 - 18, 2007/This Weeks News

USOC plans medal exhibit

As part of the buildup to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the U.S. Olympic Committee is finalizing plans for an Olympic medal exhibit later this year in New York.

The exhibit, which will be the first of its kind, will be done in partnership with the National Jewelry Institute. Together they plan to amass the largest collection ever assembled of medals won by U.S. Olympic and Paralympic competitors for display at the Forbes Galleries in downtown Manhattan.

USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said the exhibit offers the chance to highlight the Olympic movement’s emphasis on art and culture. Plans are for it to open in September and run through December. Admission to the Forbes Galleries is free, but there may be an optional donation to support the Olympic movement.

Over the next several months, the USOC plans to gather — on loan — approximately 100 medals from Olympians and Paralympians. It hopes to display examples from as many Olympics as possible. Each medal will likely come with a tag, such as: “Michael Phelps, Gold Medal, 200m Butterfly, Athens 2004.”

Seibel said the medals likely will feature an array of athletes, including well-known and lesser-known figures.

The USOC plans to reach out to current corporate partners to gauge their interest in supporting the exhibit. It has not determined whether it will sell other sponsorships for the exhibit.

The Forbes Galleries, which recently hosted an exhibit of Andy Warhol paintings, receives more than 20,000 visitors during the holidays, when the USOC exhibit will be shown.

“We’ll be introducing the Olympic and Paralympic movements to a whole new audience through this,” Seibel said.

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