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US Olympic Hall of Fame -- an idea whose time is here

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The Boston visit was a hockey enthusiast's dream, bringing together Captains Jack Kirrane and Mike Eruzione plus two other members each from the 1960 and 1980 championship teams. Also in Boston, the exhibit received its second gold medal. This one was donated by Hilary Smart, who teamed with his father, Paul, in the star class yachting event in 1948 for what may have been the only father-son victory in Olympic history.

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The Philadelphia stop brought out Joe Frazier, who won the heavyweight boxing gold medal in 1964 and of course went on to become world champion as a professional, as well as famed Olympic oarsman Jack Kelly.

The show also has made stops in Baltimore and Washington, with others to come in Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami , New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, San Diego, and San Francisco. It visits more cities in 1983, then goes to L.A.

In addition to the medals, the exhibit has picked up a vast array of fascinating memorabilia. Among the items are:

Al Oerter's Olympic jersey from 1968, the year he won the last of his historic four gold medals in the discus.

Joe Frazier's boxing shoes from 1964..

Figure skating gold medalist Peggy Fleming's blades and warmup suit from 1968 .

Also in figure skating, the outfits worn by gold medalists Hayes Alan Jenkins in 1956 and Carol Heiss in 1960.

A swimsuit and two certificates from 1964 double gold medal winner Don Schollander.

The skates on which speedskater Terry McDermott won the USA's only gold medal of the 1964 Winter Games.

The uniform worn by Bill Cleary, high scorer on the victorious 1960 hockey team at Squaw Valley, and a hockey stick donated by Buzz Schneider, one of the mainstays of the 1980 champions at Lake Placid.

A basketball autographed by the 1976 gold medal-winning team, donated by Coach Dean Smith.

The running shorts worn by Wyomia Tyus in winning the 100 meter gold medal in 1968.

The bathing suit worn by 1976 springboard diving gold medalist Jennifer Chandler.

A picture of the first US basketball team in 1936.

A German oarsman's uniform from 1936 which by tradition was given to Gordon B. Adam of the victorious US eight-oared shell; Adam also donated his own jersey and numerous other mementos of that occasion.

Two rare photographs of Babe Didrikson winning gold medals in the javelin throw and the 80-meter hurdles in 1932.

An original poster from the 1932 Los Angeles Games, plus programs from the ' 32 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

The goggles worn by Barbara Ann Cochran in winning her skiing gold medal in 1972.

Also numerous other photos, posters, programs, maps, handbooks, post cards, books, medals, uniforms, badges, etc.

By the time the exhibit reaches Los Angeles, of course, it will have much, much more. By then, too, there will already be an inaugural class of inductees, and the whole concept will be well on its way to fruition.