Gold Medal Could Fetch $50k On Open Auction

By Ben Hamill - July 18 2019
Gold Medal Could Fetch $50k On Open Auction

A 2010 Vancouver Olympic gold medal is about to be auctioned off to the highest bidder and if predictions turn out to be correct, then the sale is about to give new meaning to what it means for something to be worth its weight in gold. The freestyle skiing gold medal – of which the owner has requested to remain anonymous – is expected to fetch at least $50,000 when the hammer falls.

Auctioning off an Olympic gold medal isn’t exactly the norm and in all likelihood the reason behind the seller’s request to remain anonymous. Athletes usually instead rely on podium appearances to secure endorsement deals and sponsorships and are generally not prone to sell of badges of Olympic achievement in this manner.

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Narrowing It Down To 3

Despite the issue of anonymity, the owner of the medal comes down to a total of three possibilities, one of which has already been eliminated. Bobby Eaton, who is the VP of RR Auctions in Boston in the US, has said that despite the fact that he isn’t at leisure to reveal the identity of the seller, he is in fact able to confirm that the medal does not belong to Canada’s Alexandre Bilodeau.

Only three freestyle skiing gold medals were won in Vancouver in 2010, which leaves Alexei Grishin (Belarus) and ski-cross champion Michael Schmid (Switzerland) in the mix. Despite the fact that one would expect athletes to value medals such as these, according to Eaton, modern athletes aren’t as bound by tradition than their historical counterparts and are less likely to leave medals and other keepsakes to estates or heirs.

The Collector-Snowball Effect

Eaton estimates that anything between 250 and 500 Olympic memorabilia collectors will in all likelihood show an interest in acquiring the medal. But how does one get stuck on collecting Olympic memorabilia? It generally starts out with someone collecting something as simple as pins or even just an autograph. At times it will spiral from there on out, with collectors moving on towards items like diplomas, pieces of clothing, an Olympic torch and eventually medals.

Its nothing out of the ordinary and not at all different to someone who likes to collect baseball cards or to acquire stocks, concluded Eaton.

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