1972 Munich Olympics Men's Basketball Gold Medal Presented...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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The most controversial moment in Olympics history!
1972 Munich Olympics Men's Basketball Gold Medal Presented to
Soviet Union Team Captain Modestas Paulauskas. The thrill of
victory and the agony of defeat are rarely experienced within
moments of one another, but perhaps the most profound exception to
that rule came on September 9, 1972 at the Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle at
the Munich Olympic Park, where the joy of the American side was
cruelly and controversially squelched in the Gold Medal Basketball
Final against the Soviet Union. After sinking a free throw with
three seconds remaining to take a one-point lead, the Americans
appeared bound to continue their unbroken chain of seven Olympic
Condensing a story far too long to recount in full detail, the Soviets were granted three inbound passes in those final three seconds due to a baffling series of officiating errors, sinking what would prove to be the game-winner is a shocking last-second play on their third attempt. Understandably outraged at the apparent theft of their victory, the American side refused its Silver Medals, instead returning home with nothing more than a lifetime of resentment.
But for the other side, the Miracle at Munich remains one of the most celebrated events in Russian basketball history, with this being the key symbol thereof. It is the Gold Medal presented to 1972 Olympic team captain Modestas Paulauskas, consigned to this Platinum Night auction by Paulauskas himself, with his letter of provenance.
Designed by Gerhard Marcks and produced at the Bavarian Mint, the offered medal is crafted from 175 grams of gilt silver, and measures 66 millimeters in diameter. Seated victory holds a laurel wreath and palm branch before the Colosseum on obverse, giving way to mythological Roman twins Castor and Pollux on verso. "Basketball, Poulouskas Modestas" is engraved on upper edge. Original chain is present. Only 364 Gold Medals were created for presentation at Munich. Fine condition. Letter of provenance from Modestas Paulauskas.
Guide Value or Estimate: $20,000 - up.
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