British Columbia

Vancouver 2010 Olympic gold medal expected to net over $50K US at auction

Olympic gold medallists usually cash in after their big moment on the podium through sponsorship deals and paid appearances.

The athlete selling the men's freestyle skiing gold medal has asked to remain anonymous

This men's 2010 freestyle skiing gold medal is expected to fetch over $50,000 US or $65,000 Cdn at auction. (RR Auction)

Olympic gold medallists usually cash in after their big moment on the podium through sponsorship deals and paid appearances.

But one champion from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics is taking the direct sales route.

A gold medal from one of the three men's freestyle skiing events at the 2010 Games is up for auction in the U.S. where it's expected to fetch over $50,000 US, the equivalent of $65,000 Cdn.

Bobby Eaton, vice president of RR Auction in Boston, said the athlete selling the medal has asked to remain anonymous.

The medal at auction is either this one, won by Belarus' Alexei Grishin for freestyle skiing aerials at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, or... (Gerry Broome/The Associated Press)

"Unfortunately that is one of the terms of the sale," he said.

Not Alex Bilodeau's medal

Eaton did confirm the seller is not moguls star Alexandre Bilodeau, winner of Canada's first gold medal at the 2010 Games.

That leaves two possibilities: 2010 aerials champion Alexei Grishin of Belarus or Swiss skicross champ Michael Schmid.

...this one, won by Switzerland's Michael Schmid in skicross. (Marcio Sanchez/The Associated Press)

RR Auction's Bobby Livingston said the medal is the first gold from 2010 to be offered at public auction.

"With the more modern Olympiads these [medals] haven't gone into estates or been passed to the next generation," said Livingston. "They're still very current, so they're rare."

Eaton estimates there are between 250 to 500 hard core collectors who may have an interest in the medal. He says the majority of Olympic memorabilia collectors he deals with got their start trading pins.

"It's just this contagious thing. They start at one and buying pins. After that, they get a medal and then a torch and then somebody's diploma, then a uniform or a flag."

"Instead of buying stocks or baseball cards, they're attracted to Olympic memorabilia," said Livingston. 

The auction for the medal closes July 17 at 4 p.m. P.T.

At the time of publishing the bidding had reached $20,000 US.



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