Olympic champions who sold their gold medals
Against the background of hype around the Olympics, it is no wonder forget that in life there are things more important than gold medals. Below you will find stories of athletes who have had a good reason to sell hard-earned precious metal.
1. Mark Wells, United States, 1980. Hockey
You can only guess what any athlete should say goodbye to any gold medal, and even more so if this victory is connected with the historical and emotional victory. Wells left her easy: he sold the medal to pay for the treatment of a rare genetic disease that caused the damage to the spinal cord. He sold the medal to a private collector, who in turn sold it by auction house for 310 thousand dollars 700 in 2010. To coin a note was attached as follows:
"This gold medal symbolizes my personal accomplishments and achievements of our team. Since I became one of only twenty players who have received this gold medal, to February 1980, she held a special place in my heart. When I decided to sell it, it also decided that as long as she's with me, I will not take it off from the neck. I even slept with this medal for the past two weeks ... I hope you will cherish it as well as I did. "
2. Wladimir Klitschko, Ukraine, Boxing, 1996.
Games in Atlanta marked the first participation of Ukraine in the Olympics as an independent state. Therefore, a gold medal, received the "Steel Hammer" was a truly historic event. However, for the most Klitschko help young athletes it was more important. His prize was auctioned off in 2012, bringing a million dollars Klitschko Brothers Foundation, which helps fund children's sports camps and the necessary sports equipment. Buyer was a mysterious benefactor, who immediately returned the medal of its rightful owner.
3. Anthony Ervin, USA, 2000. Swimming
Anthony Ervin won gold in the swim 50 meters freestyle at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Despite this success, he retired from the sport in 2003 at the age of 22, saying that he "had to deal with their lives ... without hindrance and without being bound by the discipline and the need to compete and remain professional." He placed his medal eBay in 2004, and subsequently donated the proceeds of 17 thousand 101 dollar in favor of the victims of the earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Erwin again took part in the 50-meter swim in 2012, but did not get a medal.
4. otylia jędrzejczak, Poland, 2004. Swimming
Even without going through qualifying for the Olympic Games in Athens 10 years ago, Endzheychak stated that any win gold medals she would donate to charity. When she was soon on the winning podium, then she kept her promise. Her medal for the 200-meter butterfly swimming style has been given for more than $ 80tysyach. The amount was transferred to the Polish charity organization that helps children with leukemia. "I do not need a medal to remember", - she said. - "I know what I'm Olympic champion. It's in my heart. "
And the one who tried to Tommy Smith, United States, 1968. Athletics
Even if you do not know the name of Tommy Smith, you must have seen him, he was one of two Americans who silently raised his fist in the iron glove to protest against the discrimination of blacks (Black Power salute) at the award ceremony of the winners in the 200-meter race . Despite the importance of this coin, he put it up for auction. Twice. In 2000, Smith and his wife, Deloiz Jordan-Smith, set up a website with an auction of memorabilia athlete. Asking price at the time was $ 500 thousand, although Smith acknowledged that the chances that someone will pay such a sum were, quite frankly, not great.
He doubted not in vain. Ten years later, Smith re-launched the auction; This time, starting bids with the amount of 250 thousand dollars. Many believe that Smith needed the money to live on, but the co-author of the autobiography Smith of 2007, David Steele, had a different opinion.
"I know that he wants to establish a youth sports organization, and a good part of the proceeds will go exactly to this" - said Gary J. Zimet, representative of Moments in Time of the auction house.. Smith himself did not make any statements on this topic.
Auction soon ceased to cover the news, and there is no information about how someone offered even a reduced price. However, the medal disappeared from the market, so if you want to imagine an Olympic medal (and you have extra 250 thousand dollars), you can write to him - maybe you are lucky?