MEMORABILIA: An Athens 1896 Olympic Champion silver and Steve Genter’s Munich ‘72 medals trio in an eye-opening show by RR Auction

A magnificent 1896 Athens Olympic winner's medal - in silver in those days - on offer now by RR Auction (Photo courtesy RR Auction)

The Sports Examiner: Chronicling the key competitive, economic and political forces shaping elite sport and the Olympic Movement. ★

A sponsored post by RR Auction.

Olympic fans everywhere know who Mark Spitz was. Many fewer remember Steve Genter.

They were American teammates in the pool at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany and would compete together in the 200 m Freestyle and the 4×200 m Free relay. Spitz went on to win seven golds, in four individual events and three relays, all in world-record time. Genter almost beat him, after almost not being able to swim in the Games.

He suffered a collapsed lung about a week before the Games, but U.S. doctors allowed him to compete after a re-inflation procedure that required bed rest until the day before his first swim. He made the 200 m Free final easily, then led Spitz in the final at 100 m and 150 m before the procedure caught up to him and he faded to silver on the last lap.

Two days later, he swam third on the winning U.S. team in the 4×200 m Free relay and swam the next day in the 400 m Free. He finished third, with teammate Rick DeMont winning, but then disqualified for an asthma medication he had declared, but which had not been formally cleared by the International Olympic Committee. Genter stood to be promoted to silver, but in solidarity with DeMont, refused the silver medal and retained the bronze.

Now, at age 72, Genter is offering his set of Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals in a new offer from RR Auction as part of a sensational 437-item auction now open and continuing through 18 January.

This auction includes a mighty assembly of Olympic torches from 19 different Games: 1936-48-56-60-64-68-72-76-80-84-88-92-96-2000-04-08-12-16-20, and from 13 Winter Games, from 1956-72-80-84-88-94-98-2002-06-10-14-18-22.

But the prize of the auction might be an 1896 Athens winner’s medal – made of silver – in truly excellent condition that is projected to bring a $100,000 sales price!

Also up is the London 2012 boxing gold – his first of two – won by Cuban star Roniel Iglesias in the 64 kg Light Welterweight category, expected to sell for $50,000! And there are 36 more items valued at $10,000 or more:

● $45,000: Lake Placid 1980 Winter torch
● $40,000: Tokyo 1964 gold medal
● $40,000: Lillehammer 1994 Winter torch
● $35,000: Los Angeles 1932 gold medal
● $30,000: Berlin 1936 gold medal
● $25,000: Stockholm 1956 equestrian silver medal
● $25,000: Stockholm 1956 equestrian bronze medal
● $25,000: Tokyo 1964 badge for IOC President Avery Brundage
● $25,000: Turin 2006 Winter silver medal
● $22,000: Oslo 1952 Winter silver medal

● $20,000: London 1908 Comite d’Honneur badge
● $20,000: Paris 1924 gold medal
● $20,000: Innsbruck 1964 Winter gold medal
● $20,000: Mexico City 1968 gold-silver-bronze set
● $20,000: Calgary 1988 Winter torch
● $20,000: Calgary 1988 Winter silver medal
● $18,000: St. Louis 1904 participation medal
● $18.000: Tokyo 1964 torch
● $18,000: Calgary 1988 Winter gold medal
● $18,000: Lillehammer 1994 Winter silver medal

● $15,000: 1889 Zappas Olympics winner’s diploma
● $15,000: Melbourne 1956 torch
● $15,000: Cortina 1956 Winter torch
● $15,000: Montreal 1976 silver medal
● $15,000: Seoul 1988 gold medal
● $12,500: Munich 1972 gold medal
● $12,000: Melbourne 1956 silver medal
● $12,000: Atlanta 1996 gold medal
● $12,000: Beijing 2008 silver medal
● $10,000: Lillehammer 1994 Pinewood Winter torch

● $10,000: Tokyo 1964 Olympic flame safety lantern
● $10,000: Tokyo 1964 Olympic flame “sacred vessel”
● $10,000: Helsinki 1952 gold medal
● $10,000: Los Angeles 1984 gold medal
● $10,000: Seoul 1988 gold medal
● $10,000: Sydney 2000 silver medal

The rare 1908 London “Comite du Honneur” badge is in excellent condition and rarely seen, and one of the wildest items in the listing is a winner’s diploma from the 1889 “Zappas Olympics” in Athens, Greece that was a forerunner to the eventual revival of the Olympic Games.

Note that the projected prices for many Winter Games items surpass those for the summer Games. Bobby Eaton, the RR Auction Chief Operating Officer, explained:

“In the world of Olympic memorabilia collecting, Winter Games hold a distinctive allure, often commanding higher prices for both torches and winner’s medals, primarily due to one pivotal factor: scarcity. While the summer Olympics boast an impressive turnout of athletes, now more than 10,000 competitors, their Winter counterpart features a more exclusive group, with a range of 2,500 to 3,000 participants.

“The rarity factor becomes even more pronounced when considering Olympic torches. In the case of the Winter Games, collectors contend with a limited supply, spanning anywhere from 20 to 150 torches for various years, whereas the Summer Games can flood the market with approximately 10,000 torches in some instances.

“Beyond scarcity, the mindset of collectors also plays a crucial role in driving up prices. Collectors often aspire to complete sets of torches or winner’s medals, intensifying the demand and competition for these coveted pieces, ultimately contributing to their elevated value.”

There are Olympic medals on offer from 1896-1900-20-24-32-36-48-52-56-64-68-72-76-80-84-88-92-96-2000-08 and Winter Games medals from 1924-28-48-52-64-84-88-94-2006.

And for Los Angeles 2028 fans, lots of items from the 1932 Olympic Games in L.A. are available, including a souvenir bronzed miniature of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with bidding starting at $150!

It’s an impressive roster from Boston-based RR Auction, which sponsors twice-a-year auctions of Olympic memorabilia, along with other shows on autographs, artifacts, music and other items. This auction will end on 18 January, so check out the lists now!

A sponsored post by RR Auction.

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