The winning bidder in a recent auction secured a piece of Olympic history. RR Auctions in Boston, Massachusetts, hosted a sale including a torch from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, as well as several other items. The official piece of memorabilia sold for $41,786.
According to Page Six, the torch is notable due to its design. It was a "Type 6" torch, which came to prominence after a previous model exploded on its way to the Olympic Games. This incident prompted the design of a safer model. According to the auction house, the explosion occurred when Mariana Valls, son of the president of the Barcelona Athletics Federation, passed the torch to Olympian Gregorio Rojo on a Barcelona street. Rojo's torch exploded at the moment of contact.
"Both men received minor injuries," the auction house said. [...] and the cause of the detonation was attributed to the fuel volatility and the 'too-rapid contact of a lighted torch with an unlighted one.'" The new design later arrived safely in Mexico City for the Olympic Games.
In addition to the 1968 torch, the sale also featured several gold medals from the Olympics, ranging from 1908-1988. A torch from the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo also sold during the auction. This piece of history went for $55,000.
While sports have remained mostly inactive due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans have found ways to purchase unique pieces of history. One motorsport supporter purchased an iconic 1996 No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, previously driven by Dale Earnhardt. Richard Childress auctioned off the part of history to raise money for coronavirus relief.
"I've never parted with an Earnhardt Chevrolet from my collection, but with a global pandemic taking place and people in our communities suffering, it's time to do what I can to help," Childress said in a statement, per NBC Sports. "All proceeds will benefit much-needed causes to fight the devastating effects of COVID-19 on a local and national level." The winning bidder remains anonymous by choice, but the money will benefit two charities — Feeding America and Samaritan's Purse.
"America is facing unprecedented times right now, and it's going to take everyone working together and making sacrifices to make a difference," Childress continued. "I have so many memories of this No. 3 Chevrolet, including celebrating with Dale Earnhardt in Victory Lane. I will always hold those memories dearly, but now I am thrilled to see that the winning bidder will be able to build memories as well."