Feeling the post-Olympic blues? Is your stuffed mascot, Rio 2016 t-shirt or team Brazil pin not bringing back the fond memories you’d expect from a good souvenir?
Then why not bring home the final torch that lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony? Yes, you can – if you have deep pockets.
The Rio 2016 Official Auction is online and you can purchase game and match used memorabilia along with other unique Games artifacts including that torch Brazilian Marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima used to light the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony while he was watched by billions of people around the globe.
The current bid for the final Olympic flame relay torch is 20,550 Brazilian reals (USD $6,350) but with several days left in the auction, expect the price skyrocket. But wouldn’t it look nice in your living room?
You can purchase authenticated, game used equipment such as tennis balls, volleyballs, basketballs, boxing gloves, batons and countless other match and athlete identified items – and more that are soon to be added.
My favorite item, one that certainly would have me stupidly considering selling my house to acquire, is the final Olympic baton used by triple-triple Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt in the 4 x 100 relay. Imagine holding that item in your hand as if you were the fifth person on that historic relay team. Imagine the stories you could tell.
But that baton is now out of reach. Listed as of yesterday with a rapidly escalating bid, it no longer appears on the website alongside the other teams’ batons from the same race. While no details about the item are available, it is worth noting that after the 2012 relay Bolt pleaded for the opportunity to keep his team’s baton, and was granted the exception. According to rules, batons must be returned after the race.
Just browsing through the website, whether you plan to open your wallet or not, is enough to bring back the colourful memories of the Games. A game-used ball from Brazil’s gold-medal winning football match reminds of the deafening celebrations at Maracanã Stadium; one of the many autographed match-used beach volleyballs evokes the party atmosphere on Copacabana Beach; and those batons get your heart racing like the runners at Olympic Stadium.
Props used at the Opening Ceremony including those iconic bikes that led the athletes into the stadium have already sold, but there may be more to come. Rio 2016 organizers are also expected to use the site to sell off assets from the Games including furniture from the Athletes Village and equipment and supplies that were used to help support the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Proceeds will presumably be used to help pay off the debt accumulated while organizing the Games, even after a Paralympic Games cluster was closed due to lack of funds.
I’ll close sign off at that, there is a basketball I have my eye on that’s closing momentarily.