Athens 1896 Olympic 'first place' winner's medal sold for more than $180,000 at auction

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Athens 1896 Olympic 'first place' winner's medal sold for more than $180,000 at auction
Exceedingly rare first-place winner’s medal issued for the Athens 1896 Olympics. Silver, 50 mm, 67 gm, by Jules Clement Chaplain. Sold For: $180,111 (w/BP).

BOSTON, MASS.- An extremely rare first-place silver medal from the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896 sold for $180,111, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

At the inaugural Olympiad, first-place winners were awarded silver medals, and second-place finishers earned bronze prizes; there was no award for a third-place result, thus a gold medal had yet to be introduced.

Unlike this summer's Tokyo Olympic Games that will feature more than 11,000 athletes competing in 41 different sports, the 1896 Olympiad only featured about 250 athletes.

This example represents just the third that we have ever offered, and the premiere instance of a first place medal, which are among the most sought-after accolades in the realm of sport.

"Any winner's medal from the historic debut of the 1896 Olympic Games remains exceedingly rare," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Additional highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

• Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics Gold Winner's Medal awarded to a member of the Argentinean men's football team sold for $97,270.

• Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics Gold Winner's Medal awarded to a member of the United States men's basketball team sold for $83,188.

• Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics Gold Winner's Medal awarded to Swedish wrestler Ivar Johansson sold for $45,375.

• London 1948 Summer Olympics Gold Winner's Medal sold for $37,816.

• Rome 1960 Summer Olympics Gold Winner's Medal sold for $25,716.

Among top-selling torches: Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics Torch sold for $38,250, Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympics Torch sold for $25,124, and a Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Torch sold for $18,529.

The Olympic Memorabilia Auction from RR Auction began on July 15 and concluded on July 22.

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