Passionate collector donates rare Olympic treasure trove
The collector of the world’s most thorough cache of Olympic torches, medals and other effective keepsakes insists he does not play favorites. they’re all his toddlers.
still, when pressed, Gordy Crawford brings up a gold medal from the 1932 Lake Placid winter Olympics. not lengthy ago, a family from Norway put it up for public sale. The cost tag soared into six figures. There become just one different bidder.
“It become the IOC,” he mentioned. “happily for me, that they had a finances and that i didn’t. So, I even have a 1932 gold medal.”
That gold medal, along with millions of bucks’ worth of Olympic treasures Crawford has accumulated over the years, now resides in the archives at the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters in Colorado Springs. Crawford, seventy one, felt it become time to show his passel over to the USOC. He spent $1.5 million to construct an archive room an entire ground, definitely that comprises a 225-square-foot fireproof special Collections enviornment the place the torches and medals will reside behind glass.
constituents of the assortment will eventually go on reveal on the U.S. Olympic Museum, now under building in Colorado Springs and expected to start in 2020.
“I desire all that heritage to be celebrated in a public place, with a bit of luck to encourage future athletes to compete, and to inspire sponsors and donors to make contributions to the crew,” pointed out Crawford, who, apart from his role of collector, historian and passionate fan, serves as chairman of the USOC’s charitable arm, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic foundation.
Poring through Crawford’s collection is like taking a trivia tour via Olympic history. did you know:
—There are handiest two medals for every adventure on the first up to date video games — Athens, 1896 — a silver awarded to the winner and bronze for 2d area.
—The 1904 Olympics have been folded into the realm’s shapely in St. Louis, and there changed into so a whole lot action happening across the video games, says USOC archivist Teri Hedgpeth, as she gingerly unwraps medals from those games, “that hardly ever any one knew they have been occurring.”
—That led Athens to grasp a 1906 Olympics, the.”officialness” of which is commonly debated. have been they true Olympics? is dependent upon who you ask. but Crawford has a medals set from them having said that.
—one in all Crawford’s most helpful torches is from the 1952 summer season video games in Helsinki — best 21 exist, and only three of these had been in inner most fingers. Crawford waited 25 years for his chance and he paid https://www.pokertiam.net/ greater than $1 million for it. another is from 1956, the year Melbourne held the summer season games, however on account of quarantine suggestions, didn’t enable horses to enter the nation for the equestrian events. That competition become moved to Stockholm, and a restricted number of torches had been produced that examine.”Stockholm 1956.” All have been marched into the competition enviornment on horseback.
Crawford’s assortment pretty much completes an archive this is actually overflowing with Olympic memories grand and never-so-grand.
in one nook, still coated in plastic wrap, is a full-sized statue of Sam the Olympic Eagle, the authentic mascot of the 1984 Olympics in los angeles. Displayed on a bookshelf neighborhood is certainly one of Michael Johnson’s famous golden spikes from the 1996 Olympics. last month, the archive obtained a mint-condition Opening Ceremony uniform from the Mexico city games from swimmer Kathy Thomas younger. After bobsledder Steven Holcomb died remaining year, his household donated his uniforms, medals his crystal globes from World Cup motion — six of which reside within the fireproof vault along with Crawford’s torches and medals.
“Shock and awe,” Hedgpeth said of her response to Crawford’s donation. “Awe that he allows us to do it, and or not it’s a beautiful collection. it be a dream come true.”
Crawford’s day job was at a worldwide investment company, the place he worked for a protracted whereas as a medialeisure analyst. He got an invite to the Sarajevo winter games in 1984 as a visitor of ABC. quickly after touchdown, he turned into surrounded via pin merchants, including Viktor Cornell, one of the most world’s most renowned pin collectors.
“he’s the guy who bought me my first Olympic medal,” Crawford observed. “It become a bronze from Berlin in 1936. That started me collecting the severe stuff.”
There are a number of missing pieces: A gold medal from 1904. Medals from Sochi and Vancouver.
In some ways, the more moderen medals are more durable to return by means of.
returned within the days of the jap Bloc, an athlete from East Germany or Hungary may promote a medal and purchase a house, or feed his household for a yr. this present day, Olympic athletes throughout the globe are, in regularly occurring, greater financially cozy, giving them much less incentive to promote the lately won prizes. meanwhile, toddlers and grandparents of Olympic winners from many years gone by come throughout historical medals sitting in drawers and basements; they may additionally suppose no real connection to the medals but want them within the hands of someone who will do something about them.
Crawford matches the bill.
soon, an assurance appraiser will come to Colorado to put a price on goods which are estimated to be worth more than $15 million in complete. however Crawford and Hedgpeth every well known that there is never actually a number to placed on a set this thorough.
“it’s a combination of loving the Olympics,” Crawford says in explaining his ardour for amassing, “and i’m a true patriot. My eyes nonetheless well up after they play the anthem. and i love seeing exquisite athletes symbolize our country.”
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