Looking to round out your Christmas shopping with a couple gifts for the swimmer in your life? Let SwimSwam help you out with this last-minute swimmer’s Christmas list:
1932 Los Angeles Olympics swimming ticket – $65
This mint condition, unused ticket will take you back to a different age of competitive swimming: no television crews, no goggles, and the torture method known as butterfly hadn’t yet been invented. What could be better than that?
Vintage U.S. Swimming Belt Buckle – $49.80
The vintage look is in, right? What better fashion choice to accent your obsession with the pool than a silver swimming association belt buckle from the 1950s?
“Fancy Diving” medal from the 1920s – $195
In the early 1900s, diving had two events: the plunge was a regular racing start for distance and somersault diving as we know it was considered “Fancy Diving.” Show off your knowledge of the sport with this Fancy Diving medal from 1928. As an added bonus, maybe we can start a resurgence of the term “Fancy Diving.” It just sounds so classy!
Classic Sports Illustrated covers, Tim Shaw, Jeff Float, Tom Dolan – $1 each
Believe it or not, swimming actually did get mainstream media coverage in the pre-Michael Phelps era. Check out these classic Sports Illustrated covers of some of the great swimmers of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
1936 Berlin Olympics ticket – $250
This ticket is for the swimming portions of the historic 1936 Olympics – the first Olympics to be televised and a competition that transcends sports with its incredible historical context. A great gift for the world history buff in your life!
European Junior Medal from 1984 – $88
This soon-to-be 30-year-old medal is from the European Junior Championships in Luxembourg, a classic piece of memorabilia for fans of international swimming around the world.
A.A.U. National Championships ribbon, vintage from 1950 – $5
Looking for stocking stuffers? How about an inexpensive blast from the past for a former swimmer in your life who remembers the days of AAU swimming? This classic ribbon is from the national championships in Seattle back in July of 1950.
“How to Improve your Swimming” manual from circa 1960 – $10
This 48-page manual offers the latest tips and techniques to improve your swimming. It’s full of photos and figures and is a classic look at the evolution of swim coaching strategy. Just be careful applying its tips to your own swimming in 2014 – there have probably been a few changes in strategy over the past 50 years.
USSR Summer Games, 4×100 free relay medal – $35
This is an artifact: a third-place medal from the Summer Games in the Soviet Union. Dates are uncertain, but this medal does appear to come from a 400 free relay at the competition, and is a pretty solid price for a vintage historical medal.
Tom Dolan Wheaties Box – $7
This great condition Wheaties box features 1996 and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Tom Dolan. It’s a great collector’s item, plus it’s factory flat, meaning it was never folded up and filled with cereal – so you don’t have to deal with a bag of stale 17-year-old cereal sitting within your classic memorabilia.
Medal Bulgaria Trade Union Swimming Tournament – $140
This rare medal appears to come from all the way back in 1969. This is a classic, cool-looking old medal for collectors or an aesthetically pleasing swimming-centric decoration.
1996 Atlanta Olympics Synchronized Swimming pin – $6
Synchronized swimmer? Check out this authentic pin from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the last summer Olympic games held on U.S. soil.
1976 Olympics programs – $100
These programs recount the opening and closing ceremonies of the Montreal Games, plus the swimming and athletics events. Check out these Cold War-era programs for a blast from the past – the swimming races were dominated by the U.S. and East Germany.
Bulgarian Balkan Games Medal from 1977 – $95
This medal and carrying case come from the Bulgarian IX Balkan Swimming and Diving Games 36 years ago. The international swimming memento looks to be in great condition.
Mark Spitz magazine ad – $9
This vintage magazine ad features swimming star Mark Spitz, sans his iconic mustache. Also note the look on Spitz’s face as he swims buttefly goggle-less in the large photo and remind yourself how lucky we are to have swimming eye-wear in 2013.
ABC press pass from 1966 AAU Swimming and Diving Championships – $30
Fan of swimming? Fan of sports journalism? You’re reading SwimSwam, so the odds of both are pretty high. Check out this press pass from the AAU national championships, used by ABC reporter Louis Rende, who later won a primetime Emmy for coverage of the 1972 Munich Olympics.
1947 European Championships medal – $85
This medal comes from the 1947 Euros in Monte Carlo, Monaco. This is a cool looking medal from a very different era of competitive swimming. The winning time in the men’s 100m free? 56.9.
1980 USSR Championship pin – $4
This pin comes from the national team of Soviet Russia back in 1980, making it a great conversation piece for both swimming enthusiasts and world history buffs, as it covers one of the great national and sporting rivalries of the 20th Century.
1988 USA Swimming lapel pin – $7
In tandem with our last item, this pin makes up the other half of the USA-USSR rivalry that was so transcendent in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Vintage look? check. Patriotic? check. A great gift for a fan of USA swimming.