A 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics torch has sold at auction for $65,768.52 – or $46,184.95 in U.S. Dollars.
The historic and rare memorabilia was expected to go for between $50,000 and $60,000 USD when put up at auction earlier this month, but sold for just over $45K USD last week. It was the second most expensive item during RR Auction’s Olympic Memorabilia event – the first being a Chamonix 1924 Winter Olympics Gold Winner’s Medal that sold for $47,746.83 USD, well over the expected $35,000.
The torch was one of 100 made for the Games and was included in the auction along with a torch from the 1936 Berlin Olympics, a 1976 Montreal Olympics torch, and a Vancouver 2010 torch, among others.
Standing 23.5 inches in length and featuring an aluminum head with a maple handle, the never-used torch is modeled after the Calgary Tower and inscribed with “XV Olympic Winter Games Calgary Alberta Canada 1988.” It also features pictograms of 10 winter Olympic sports and engraved with the Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius.”
“The torch relay was an enormous event, with approximately 6,500 torchbearers drawn from an application pool of over six million,” said the auction description.
“After the lighting ceremony in Olympia, the flame was flown to Newfoundland. The torch traveled 18,000 km through Canada over 88 days. Unlike many relays, the torches were shared and thus only about one hundred were manufactured. This is a marvelous example of the utmost rarity.”