Olympic Medal That Enraged Hitler Up for Auction
Jesse Owens' only surviving 1936 gold hits the block
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2013 7:35 AM CST
This handout provided by SCP Auctions, Inc., shows the front, left, and back, right, of one of Jesse Owens' four gold medals won at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.   (AP Photo/SCP Auctions, Inc.)

(Newser) – A precious piece of sports history—and history itself—is hitting the auction block: the only known original Jesse Owens gold medal. It's unclear which of Owens' four 1936 Olympic wins the medal is attached to, and the whereabouts of the other three are unknown. But it's the closet tie to Owens' world record-setting 100-meter dash, made at the Berlin Games orchestrated by Adolf Hitler to showcase the supremacy of the Aryan race. The African-American son of a sharecropper "obliterated Hitler's plans," says an SCP Auctions partner.

Owens also won gold in the 200-meter dash, the 400 relay, and the long jump, and gave one of his golds to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who helped the athlete find work in the entertainment field after the Games. The AP reports that SCP Auctions believes the medal could fetch more than $1 million; the auction closes Saturday and the current bid is $172,618. As for the eventual buyer, "We just hope that it's purchased by an institution where the public could have access to it, a museum or something like that," says Owens' daughter.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Dec 3, 2013 9:32 PM CST
Sometimes life is grand. Jesse showed that wonderful Triumph des Willens to the Germans. No doubt that Leni Riefenstahl recorded the races where Owens won. But it surely did not make the final cut. Werner Klemperer, the guy who played colonel Klink in, "Hogan's Hero's" was a concentrate camp survivor and had a serial # tattoo on his arm. He delighted in playing a bungling SS colonel.
supernova
Dec 2, 2013 1:58 PM CST
"We just hope that it's purchased by an institution where the public could have access to it, a museum or something like that," says Owens' daughter. Then loan it out to a museum.
Newser lol
Dec 2, 2013 9:42 AM CST
Funny how the germans were "obliterated" in the olympics when they took the most medals by far. I guess Haiti's economy obliterates the german economy as well because their mud cake economy is bigger. (wikipedia dot org) /wiki/1936_Summer_Olympics_medal_table