Mark Pavelich, a member of the U.S. team that shocked the Russians and went on to win gold in men’s hockey at the 1980 Olympic Games, is deciding to set his gold medal free and let someone else enjoy it from now on.
But there’s a price. Got $250,000?
And that’s the floor, according to a Dallas auction house that’s running the bidding. New York Daily News:
Heritage Auctions, which bills itself as the world’s largest auctioneer of collectibles, says bidding goes live April 25 and ends May 16.
There has been one other gold medal from that team auctioned, according to Heritage. That one was awarded to Mark Wells, who was dealing with health problems and sold it to a private buyer for $40,000. That buyer then commissioned Heritage, which sold it in 2010 for $310,700.
Bidding for Pavelich’s medal will start at $62,500, but Heritage sports director Chris Ivy sees $250,000 as “the floor” with “a lot of spirit bidding beyond that.”
Pavelich isn’t in financial difficulty, according to Heritage — he just wants to put the money toward his kids’ education. Pavelich played in the NHL for the Rangers, North Stars and Sharks and retired following the 1992 season.
So if you had an Olympic gold medal — one of the most iconic medals in sports history — would you sell it? After 34 years I would … probably after five. There are only so many times you can bring it out to impress your friends, and the kids have seen it, so why not set it free? If it were mine I would require visitation rights, and maybe joint custody, on weekends.
Because in the grand scheme of things none of us own anything … we’re only renting.