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Pristine 1906 Olympic Games Silver Winner's Medal with Original Presentation Box.. ...

2012 August 2 Vintage Sports Collectibles Platinum Night Signature Auction- Baltimore #7057

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Auction Ended On: Aug 2, 2012
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: B & O Warehouse, 6th Floor
Camden Yard Banquet Room
333 West Camden Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Pristine 1906 Olympic Games Silver Winner's Medal with Original Presentation Box.
A historically significant "companion" to our previous lot, this offering represents the historic resurgence of The Modern Olympic games. Hosting thousands of competitors, every Olympiad has been filled with triumph and tragedy. It is these stories that endear us to The Games.

Every great story requires an element of failure, followed by triumph. So it is with the Games themselves.

The tradition virtually dead following the infamous 1904 St. Louis Olympiad, passionate historians, businessmen, athletes & athletic personnel banded together to bring The Modern Olympic Games back to Athens in 1906. Though not adhering to the Olympic Committee's every-four-years policy, these Games were deemed necessary by many to revitalize what had been left for dead in St Louis. Touted as the 10th Anniversary Olympic Games, organizers brought the Games back to Athens, Greece where its inaugural event had been met with great fanfare and financial success.

Like 1896, the 1906 Games proved to be what The Modern Olympic Games needed. The 1906 Games was every bit the well-oiled machine that the 1896 Olympiad had been - and more! Both venues & competitions were virtually identical to those in the 1896 inaugural Olympiad. Even the medals (both participation & winner's medals) enjoyed the same classic designs as those awarded the Olympians from a century prior.

Unlike the unconventional competitions implemented by 1900 & 1904 Olympic organizers, the 1906 Games reverted to more traditional athletic competition associated with the Ancient Olympic Games. The public responded favorably, and as the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Olympic Games were reborn.

In addition to attracting competitors (including financial backing) from twenty countries, public interest, donations and corporate sponsorship monies began flowing the direction of The Games. Instead of fighting an uphill and potentially fatal battle, the ensuing 1908 London Games were a rousing success.

While the story of the 1906 Olympiad is one of success, it retains an air of sadness, initiated by the greed and jealousy of the rich and powerful.

These Games, deemed by a great many historians to be the salvation of The Modern Olympiad, today lack acknowledgement as an official Olympiad. It had been several individuals within the original Olympic Committee that possessed the influence to dissuade (and rumored to even threaten) those that might otherwise welcome the 1906 Olympiad for the Game-saving event that it was.

As does the case of Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose, official acceptance for the 1906 Games awaits. Unlike Jackson & Rose, there is no hint of wrongdoing. Though hotly debated topic among traditionalists, a vast majority stand in favor of the '06 Games. Though IOC policy dictates no mention of the Games on its website, the 1906 Olympics are acknowledged every major Olympic-related site and publication.

As is the previous lot, the offered medal is in the finest condition, and is accompanied by its original presentation box. Awarded 106 years ago to a 1906 Olympic silver medalist (2nd Place), it is composed of actual silver, and remains in a magnificent state of preservation.

A pristine matte finish remains throughout, as presented in 1906. Its magnificent design is in the great Olympic tradition (and identical to the inaugural 1896 Olympic Games), depicting Zeus holding winged Victory on the obverse, and the legendary Acropolis and Parthenon on the reverse. Both surface and detail is flawless on this historically significant medal.

Reflecting upon its importance, the symbolism of victory within this medal's design is for both athlete and Games, as the Olympics arose, overcame, and moved forward. Together with the 1904, this medal tells a story unknown by many, yet passionately compelling to those that are aware of The 1906 Games' place in Olympic history.

Move over, Joe & Pete.

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