No glory in auctioning Olympic gold medals

Tommie Smith and John Carlos give Black power salute during an awards ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics
Tommie Smith and John Carlos give Black power salute during an awards ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics

Auctioning off your Olympic gold medal is not usually a winning financial strategy, according to experts. Tommie Smith and a podium-full of other champion athletes are about to find out if they're right. Smith is hawking the gold medal he won in the 200-meter dash at the 1968 Olympics before he raised his gloved fist in a Black Power salute during the National Anthem. He joins a recent run of first-place Olympians going for gold on the auction block.

Smith is doing it in part for the money, an associate said. He better keep his expectations in check. Although the bidding begins at $250,000, a sports memorabilia dealer predicted in the San Jose Mercury News that Smith will probably reap between $6,000 and $10,000 by the time the bidding closes on Nov. 4. As of this writing, there have been no bids. The sprinter's gesture in Mexico City is now remembered by some as a significant moment in civil rights, but the price is too steep for the keepsake.


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