Just in time for Tokyo games, Olympic items up for auction

Jul 13, 2021, 8:11 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2021, 8:52 am

BOSTON (AP) — When the first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896, winners did not get gold medals as they will later this month when the Tokyo games get underway. Instead, they got silver, while runners-up got bronze. There were no medals for third place.

One of those exceedingly rare first-place silver medals is for sale in an Olympics-themed auction that opens Thursday.

The nearly 200-lot sale hosted by Boston-based RR Auction also includes a gold medal won by the 1984 U.S. men’s basketball team and several Olympic torches, including one used during last year’s torch relay before it was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Interest is high now with the Tokyo Olympics approaching,” RR Auction Executive Vice President Bobby Livingston said.

The 1896 silver medal is expected to sell for about $75,000 given its rarity, Livingston said. Unlike today’s behemoth games with thousands of athletes and hundreds of events, the 1896 Olympiad featured about 250 athletes — all men — from a little more than a dozen nations competing in 10 sports.

A bronze medal from the same year is expected to fetch around $40,000.

Unfortunately, who won the medals has been lost to time, Livingston said.

Before the U.S.’s Dream Team of NBA stars dominated the 1992 men’s basketball tournament, there was the almost as dominant 1984 team that featured future NBA stars Michael Jordan, Chris Mullin and Patrick Ewing.

That gold-medal winning team led by former Indiana coach Bobby Knight rolled to an 8-0 record, averaged more than 95 points per game and held their foes to an average of about 63 points per game.

One of those gold medals, with the multi-colored ribbon, is expected to sell for about $70,000, RR Auction said.

“Anything from the U.S. basketball team — and the 1980 men’s hockey team — always demands a lot of interest,” Livingston said.

The medal was consigned to the auctioneer by a collector who bought it directly from a member of the team, but exactly who that player is remains confidential, Livingston said.

Some of the other items for sale include a gold medal awarded to Swedish wrestler Ivar Johansson in the 1932 summer games in Los Angeles and a silver won by Bill “Rabbit” Thomson as a member of the Canadian hockey team in the 1936 winter games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.

The torches for sale include those from the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway; the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid; and the 1976 winter games in Innsbruck, Austria.

One of the more unusual items is a 17-foot (5.2-meter) wooden kayak used by Rolf Peterson of Sweden to win a gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo games. It will set you back about $30,000.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup ...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: World Cup highlights from Day 9

Highlights from the ninth day of the World Cup in Qatar on Monday. ___ AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
2 days ago
Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze watches as players warm up prior to an NCAA college football game ag...
Associated Press

Auburn hires Liberty’s Hugh Freeze, who’s coming back to SEC

Auburn is hiring Liberty coach Hugh Freeze to take over the football program, more than five years after his resignation from SEC Western Division rival Mississippi amid both personal and NCAA scandals. A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday that Freeze has signed a memorandum of understanding with the […]
2 days ago
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup ...
Associated Press

Portugal advances to last 16, beats Uruguay 2-0 at World Cup

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration, acting as though he had scored yet another goal at the World Cup. Not this time. Instead, it was Bruno Fernandes eventually credited with the goal that set up Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday, advancing the team into the last 16. Fernandes curled […]
2 days ago
FILE - Jackson State coach Deion Sanders gets his team's attention during the Southern Heritage Cla...
Associated Press

Deion Sanders says report of job offer from Colorado is true

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Deion Sanders said Monday that a report stating Colorado has offered him its head coaching job is true and he has also received interest from other schools. The Jackson State coach didn’t say whether he’s considering any of the opportunities, including trying to turn around the Buffaloes’ beleaguered program. Sanders didn’t […]
2 days ago
A pitch invader runs onto the pitch with a rainbow flag during the World Cup group H soccer match b...
Associated Press

Protestor with rainbow flag runs onto field at World Cup

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — A protestor ran onto the field Monday carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a blue Superman T-shirt that said “SAVE UKRAINE” on the front and “RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMAN” on the back during a World Cup match between Portugal and Uruguay. Security officials chased the protestor down and the flag was […]
2 days ago
FILE - Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara rolls out during the first half of an NCAA college footba...
Associated Press

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara enters transfer portal

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara has entered the transfer portal, team spokesman Dave Ablauf confirmed on Monday. McNamara had a season-ending injury to his right knee on Sept. 17 against Connecticut, one game after J.J. McCarthy won the starting job. McCarthy will lead the second-ranked Wolverines against Purdue on Saturday night […]
2 days ago
Just in time for Tokyo games, Olympic items up for auction