This week’s eBay report found a whole lot of really cool Olympic souvenirs, including tickets from different games and some really cool autographs. Oh, and that Olympic gold medal is still for sale.
1932 Los Angeles Olympics Ticket (USED) – $39.99
This ticket goes back to the era where tickets were designed to be souvenirs; it was valued at $1.00 at the time, and is stylized in the mold of United States currency (it was printed by the Jefferson Banknote Co. after all). What’s better: there’s a chance that you could find this seat. It’s been renovated several times since, but the former 10,000 seat stadium still exists new the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, now called the “LA84 Foundation/John C. Argue Swim Stadium.” This ticket comes from August 13th, the busiest day of the meet, where the men’s 200 breast, the men’s 1500 free, and the women’s 400 free were all contested. That women’s 400 free was won by the legendary Helen Madison. Buy it here.
1932 Los Angeles Olympic Ticket (UNUSED) – $65.00
This ticket is not nearly as elaborate as the one above, though it is “unused.” This ticket is from August 7th, which saw the final of the men’s 100 free: an intrasquad between three Americans and three Japanese swimmers. I’d take the other one for less money, if given the choice. Buy this one here.
2008 Michael Phelps Gold Medal Olympic Tickets (UNUSED) – $1,500
The picture makes these tickets appear unused, but this is a set of 7 tickets from the 2008 Summer Olympics, and specifically the 7 finals sessions in which Michael Phelps won gold medals. The day missing is August 14th. The seller claims that they are in “very good condition”. Incidentally, there are individual-session tickets from Beijing for sale for $25 a piece. Buy them here.
1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics Swimming Ticket – $39.99
This ticket is from July 27th, the second day of swimming, in the finals session at the 1992 Barcelona Games. A lot of the really huge names (remember that this is the days before semi-finals) had the day off, but there were some stars. One was Pablo Morales, who won gold in the 100 fly over swimmers like Anthony Nesty and Mel Stewart. You would’ve actually seen two Mel Stewart appearances, as he won a bronze in that session as a part of the 800 free relay. Other gold medalists from the day include Hungary’s Tamas Darnyi in the 400 IM (beating Eric Namesnik), the Russians in the 800 free relay, Nicole Haislett in the 100 fly, and Kyoko Iwasaki from Japan in the women’s 200 breaststroke.
1976 Montreal Summer Olympics Swimming Ticket – $49.99
A ticket for the finals of the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, and specifically the July 24th session. These Olympics were marked by the dominance of the American men (John Naber, Brian Goodell, Bruce Furniss, Matt Vogel) and the tainted dominance of the East German women. Ultimately, 21 World Records were broken in 26 events. Buy it here.
1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics Swimming Ticket – $35
The last Olympics (and top-of-the-line World Championship swimming event in the United States), this ticket is from July 20th at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. The first day of the swimming competition saw China’s Le Jingyi win the women’s 100 free, Michelle Smith win the women’s 400 IM, and Australia’s Danyon Loader win the men’s 200 free final. Buy it here.
1972 Munich Olympic Swimming Ticket – $24
This one isn’t in great condition, but comes from the August 31st, 1972 Olympic swimming session in Germany. Holders of this ticket would have seem American Mark Spitz win gold in the men’s 100 fly and break the World Record in the process with a time of 54.27.
1980 Moscow Olympics Swimming Ticket – $15
Sure, only 80 nations participated in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and the United States wasn’t one of them (creating some awkwardness in the ceremonial Olympic handovers from Montreal to Moscow to Los Angeles), these Games still saw more World Records broken, across all sports, than their predecessors in 1976. There were a lot broken in swimming, though not quite as much as the massive haul in Montreal (see above). Buy it here.
Autographed USA Swimming Card, Signed by Olympians – $399.99
Ya know how you can by a baseball autographed by the 1956 Yankees, or the 2005 Red Sox? This is kind of like that, only there’s no real rhyme or reason. This poster has been signed by over 100 Olympians, NCAA Champions, National Champions, and other big names in swimming. Some are cited, including Amanda Beard, Dana Vollmer, Misty Hyman, Cullen Jones, Aaron Piersol, Nick Thoman, and Dara Torres. Buy it here.
1936 U.S. Olympic Trials Press Pass – $289.99
The condition might not be great, but this is really cool. A press pass for the 1936 U.S. Olympic Trials at the Astoria Park Pool in New York City. The meet was then known as “tryouts” not “Trials” and was held over only two days. Then again, there were only 11 events on the Olympic schedule at the time – the Americans would win 8 medals at that year’s Olympics, but only two gold, as the Japanese continued to be the world’s supreme swimming nation. The meet would be held there again in 1936. Buy it here.
1948 U.S. Olympic Trials Program, Brennan Pools, Rouge Park, Detroit – $30
The City of Detroit is not in a good place right now, but this is a memory of the glory days of the Motor City, just before it began its 60-year decline to a 2013 bankruptcy filing. Detroit was booming, just after the explosion of growth driven by WWII, and the meet would be held there three times in four years (1948, 1956, and 1960). This program actually represents just the second co-ed Olympic Trials in American swimming history, and the beginning of a revolution as such (only once after Detroit’s run were the two meets ever again held separately). Buy it here. Actually, you can’t because I just bought it.
1983 Swimming Cards x 100 – Shane Gould or Donna de Varona – $149.99 Each
You can by a set of 100 trading cards featuring either Donna de Varona or Shane Gould, both after retirement, but two of the greats. De Varona won the Olympic gold in the 400 IM in 1964, and Gould won three individual golds in Munich in 1972. If you can find a use for 100 of each of them, this is a heck of a deal. Buy them here and here.
1980 Moscow Olympics Post Card Featuring…Mark Spitz?
From the “trippy as heck” department, this listing is for a Mark Spitz post card and stamp, mailed from Cyprus, as a promotion for the 1980 Summer Olympics. In case you forgot, this is the Olympic Games that the Americans boycotted, which was announced two months before this commemorative card was first issued. Buy it here.