The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the National Jewelry Institute (NJI) announced a partnership on Tuesday to create "Olympic Gold," a first of its kind U.S. Olympic medal exhibit.
The USOC and NJI are amassing the largest collection ever assembled of medals won by U. S. Olympic and Paralympic competitors for display at the prestigious Forbes Galleries from September 25 - December 31, 2007.
The Forbes Galleries will offer an unprecedented opportunity for the American public and an international audience to view medals and other collectibles from some of the world's most accomplished Olympians, the USOC said in a statement e-mailed to Xinhua.
The exhibit will trace the history of American athleticism and offer spectators a special view of the unique journey athletes take while representing their country at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the statement said.
"This exhibit will place a national spotlight on the Olympic Movement's history through the medals won and the stories told by some of America's greatest Olympians and Paralympians," said USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr.
"The students in the New York area as well as the many patrons that are expected to visit the exhibit will have the opportunity to get a rare glimpse of decades of excellence in international sport. As we count down to the 2008 Games in Beijing, what a great way to spotlight the Olympic spirit through what will certainly be an artful display."
The National Jewelry Institute will select items for the exhibit based on their significance to the Olympic Movement, the uniqueness of the athlete's story and space allocation. Although the exhibit will focus on Olympic medals and jeweled objects from primarily U.S. athletes, there will be some international representation as well.
How the "Olympic Gold" exhibition will be showcased will be determined by curators from the National Jewelry Institute. In some cases medals may be displayed by teams, events, or by Olympic generations. All told, the Forbes Gallery will display the Olympic medals and metallic artifacts of approximately 100 Olympians and Paralympians.
"It is an honor to provide the general public an opportunity to view my medals alongside my father's medals," said U.S. Olympic Swim Champion Gary Hall, Jr. (1996, '00, '04). "My father, Gary Hall, Sr., competed in three Olympic Games (1968, '72 and '76) as a swimmer and won three Olympic medals. Combined with my 10 medals that makes for an impressive display. We are delighted to loan our medals to the prestigious Forbes Galleries for this exhibit."
Olympians and Paralympians interested in loaning their medals and metallic items to the NJI for the exhibit will send photographs and brief written descriptions to the USOC through the month of May. Upon completion of a review by the NJI, Olympians and Paralympians will be notified if their items are selected.