London Olympic memories for sale to the highest bidders

Aug 14, 2012
Gavin Mortimer

Buy a basketball hoop, a flag, a Bradley Wiggins signed shirt – all available in the great Games sell-off

Mark Ralston

FOR ANYONE in search of their own little piece of Olympic legacy, help is at hand thanks to the official London 2012 memorabilia auction.

'Own a piece of Games History!' screams the website, before reminding us in smaller print that as a "proud sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, only Visa (debit, credit and prepaid) can be used" when bidding for items.

And what are the items up for grabs, as the Games organisers try to squeeze every last drop of potential income out of the event?

Alas, despite a comprehensive trawl through the website, neither Tom Daley's speedos nor Victoria Pendleton's cycle shorts are available – used or otherwise. But there are flags, basketball hoops and javelins galore.

If you fancy owning the USA's flag from the Opening Ceremony you'll have to make an opening offer in excess of £3,375. The Canadians' flag is available at a more reasonable sum of £1,315 while Team Burkino Faso are practically giving theirs away at £275.

For those who find flags a bit too jingoistic, there is the placard used to introduce the Australian team at the Opening Ceremony. The current highest bid is £515, lower than you might expect, but then the luckless Aussies did only take seven golds home from London.

Among the more unusual items available to purchase are a Mary Poppins's hat with electric glowing light (current highest bid £431) and a farmer's hand sickle (£345), both of which appeared in the Opening Ceremony and both of which are guaranteed to impress the grandchildren 50 years from now.

In contrast, items that might be of genuine interest to sports memorabilia hunters are few and far between. A basketball hoop used in the men's gold medal game, in which the USA 'Dream Team' beat Spain, has a current bid of £1,015, and a pair of boxing gloves worn by one of the medallists from the men's super heavyweight division are priced at £741.

The winner of that division was Britain's Anthony Joshua though one imagines if they were his gloves the website would tell us in the hope of driving up the price. The gloves are probably the ones Italy's Robert Cammarelle hurled away in disgust when he lost the gold to Joshua in a controversial countdown decision.

One of the most expensive items on auction is an Olympic relay torch signed by comedian David Walliams, attracting a highest bid - so far - of £2,020. On the other hand a Team GB cycling shirt bearing the signature of Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins could be yours for just £1,006.

So much for winning the Tour de France, Wiggo.

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