Olympic gold medals awarded to long jumper jumper Iván Pedroso and shooter Leuris Pupo have both sold for more than $70,000 (£51,000/€58,000) at an online auction as both exceeded their estimates.
The medal won by Pupo in the men’s 25 metre rapid fire pistol at London 2012 fetched $73,205 (£53,533/€60,290),, including the buyer’s premium, at the sale organised by the Boston-based RR Auction – a lot more than the $50,000 (£36,500/€41,000) predicted.
Pedroso’s gold from Sydney 2000, when he became the first man other than Carl Lewis since Moscow 1980 to win the Olympic long jump title following the American’s four consecutive victories, smashed through its $20,000 (£14,500/€16,500) estimate as it attracted a top bid of $71,335 (£52,162/€58,749).
The consignee of the medals was long-time collector who decided to sell them having originally purchased them in 2015 when the athletes decided to sell them to help raise much needed funds.
RR Auction revealed that the medals were bought by a United States-based collector.
Pupo’s victory at London 2012 came in his fourth consecutive Olympic appearance having never previously finished higher than seventh.
The front of the medal, designed by British artist David Watkins, features text across the top, “XXX Olympiad London 2012,” above the winged Nike over Panathinaikon Stadium with the Acropolis in the background.
The reverse features the emblem of the London Games against an abstract linear background.
The event, “Shooting, Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol,” is engraved along the bottom edge of the medal.
The purple ribbon is present but detached at the seam, with “London 2012” and the Olympic rings embroidered in white.
The medal exhibits some trivial dings and scratches, and some fading to gilt along the bottom edge, RR Auction reported.
It also Included the original information card and black winner’s medal case, which bears some scuffing.
But that did not detract from interest in the medal.
“Any winner's medals from more recent Olympic Games are extremely scarce and sought-after, with this prodigious London Games prize serving as a truly magnificent example of Olympic grit and triumph,” RR Auction said in its catalogue.
Pedroso, a four-time world champion, had finished fourth at Barcelona 1992 and 12th at Atlanta and appeared to be heading for another disappointment in Sydney when Australia’s Jai Taurima took the lead in the fifth round with an effort of 8.49 metres only for the Cuban to regain it with his final jump of 8.55m.
It turned out to be the only medal of Pedrosa’s career as he finished seventh four years later at Athens 2004.
The front of the medal, produced by the Royal Australian Mint, depicts a “Seated Victory” with the Colosseum in the background, although RR Auction reported that it had some scratching, scuffing, and tarnishing.
The reverse portrays the Olympic Rings over the iconic Sydney Opera House, with the Sydney Olympic Torch at right, inscribed below the rings with the athlete's name, and “Athletics / Men's Long Jump” in the upper and lower rim.
Complete with the original blue ribbon embroidered in silver with the legend, “Sydney 2000,” which is detached at centre but could be resewn.
The medal includes the original round case with metal base and hinged plastic cover. Medal features some instances of scratching, scuffing, and tarnishing.
A third Olympic medal won by a Cuban, awarded to wrestler Juan Marén at Sydney 2000, sold for $ $11,251.25 (£8,227.32/€9,266.33).
An Olympic gold medal won by Soviet Union weightlifter Leonid Zhabotinsky at Mexico City 1968 sold for $27,500 (£20,100/€22,750).
It was the second of Zhabotinsky’s Olympic golds won in the over-90 kilograms class to be sold within the of space months by RR Auction.
The gold he had won at Tokyo 1964 had been sold at an auction in August, with that raising $30,250 (£22,100/€24,900).
Zhabotinsky, who was born in Ukraine, set 19 world records in the super heavyweight class, and won a second Olympic gold medal at Mexico City 1968.
At the Opening Ceremony in Mexico City, Zhabotinsky stole the show by gripping the 40-pound Soviet Union flag with only one hand.
Among those inspired by Zhabotinsky was a teenage Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The fourth Olympic gold medal to be sold at the RR Auction was from London 1908 and awarded to Sweden for their victory in the men’s all-around gymnastics team event, selling for $25,000 (£18,000/€20,500).
Sweden’s team consisted of 38 gymnasts, who performed for up to 30 minutes each with
Three judges marked each performance, each giving a score of up to 160 divided as 40 for “appearance and march of the competitors,” 60 for "precision of movement, style, etc.,” and 60 for “physiological and rational combination of the exercises executed.”.
A total of 480 points was possible with Sweden scoring 438 to beat Norway and Finland in an all- Scandinavian final.
London 1908 was one of only Olympic Games where solid gold medals were awarded to champions, making them much sought after.
This was the only gold medal awarded with each individual team member receiving a silver one.
Several other Olympic medals were sold, including silvers won in the Los Angeles 1984 men’s football tournament by Brazil’s Davi Cortes da Silva and one awarded to Germany’s Christina Schmuck in the women’s luge at the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble.
Da Silva’s silver, which also included his diploma and participation medal, sold for $15,628.75 (£11,429.79/€12,871.70).
Schmuck had originally finished fifth in the women's singles event but was awarded the silver medal following disqualifications of the East German team, who had finished first, second and fourth respectively, after it was discovered they had heated their runners illegally.
Her medal sold for $9,375 (£6,850/€7,720).
A total of 114 items were sold during the auction, with a Torch used during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid being sold for $43,750 (£32,000/€36,000).
Only 140 Torches were manufactured at Lake Placid 1980, one of the smallest production runs for any Olympic Torch.