Olympic Games memorabilia and collectibles

wikicollecting

wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:42:45

Olympic Games memorabilia and collectibles consist of sports memorabilia items associated with past and present events and athletes of the summer and winter Olympic Games, held every four years throughout the world.

Types of collectibles

A vast range of items can be deemed “Olympic collectibles”. These include:

Value

Compared with many pieces of sports memorabilia, such as baseball or football, Olympic collectibles can make for relatively inexpensive investments. A London 1948 torch achieved £6,463 at a Christie’s auction in London in 2000.

Notable sales

The most expensive item of Olympics memorabilia sold (to date) is a decorative silver cup awarded to Greek runner Spyros Louis as a prize for winning the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896. It sold for £541,250 at Christie’s in April 2012, bought by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, to be displayed for the public in Athens from 2015.

Only one of 22 ever made, a torch from the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games was sold for €290,000 by Vassy-Jalenques SARL of Paris in April 2011. The torch, with a sterling silver bowl and birch-wood handle, had a pre-sale estimate of €150,000-€200,000.

In January 2011 a Chinese 10kg gold 100,000 Yuan coin, made to commemorate the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was sold by Heritage Auction Galleries for $575,000. Only 29 examples of the coin were minted and this was the only one allocated to the US market.

The gold medal won by Mark Wells, a member of the 1980 "miracle on ice" men's hockey team, was sold by Heritage Auction Galleries in November 2010 for $310,700. Estimated to sell for $100,000, the medal was the first time any of the 1980 hockey gold medals were offered at a public auction.

23 Canada Olympic Hockey jerseys from the victorious men’s team at Vancouver 2010 were sold on eBay in 2010 to raise funds to rebuild a children’s hospital in Haiti. The auction, which was conducted by the NHL Players’ Association, raised $94,000.

Unusual sale

A collector recently bought 5,000 official Beijing 2008 condoms. 100,000 were distributed to athletes during the games. Each condom featured the slogan "faster, higher, stronger" in English and Chinese.

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