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    1972 Munich Olympics USSR Men's Basketball Gold Medal Presented to Player Sergei Kovalenko. The United States players refused to accept their Silver Medals--they remain in a Swiss vault to this day. Ask any of the American players, or frankly the vast majority of those educated in the utterly bizarre events of the endless three seconds of that Final in Munich, and they'll insist that the elite prize presented here was stolen by the Soviets. They'll maintain that it represents the rightful property of a nation that had been undefeated in Olympic basketball competition prior to that shocking Bavarian evening.

    For a significant portion of the game's second half, it appeared that the Americans' undefeated streak would indeed fall, as a five-point Soviet lead at halftime swelled to as much as ten as the minutes ticked away. But the Yanks upped the pressure and forced errors in the Soviet backcourt, slowly clawing their way back to even standing. When Doug Collins sunk two free throws with three seconds remaining, the USA held a one-point edge, 50-49.

    Then came the madness.

    The Soviets had tried to call time outs during the American free throws--an illegal maneuver--and were ultimately awarded a stoppage with a single second remaining. Then, mysteriously, two seconds were added back to the clock. The Soviets inbounded with three seconds remaining.

    The pass failed to reach its target and the buzzer sounded. The American side began its jubilant celebration.

    But then the officials reported that the clock was being restarted when play resumed, and the finish was stricken from the record. Three seconds reappeared on the clock.

    This time Ivan Edeshko's Hail Mary found its mark just under the American basket, and Alexander Belov laid it in as the buzzer sounded, snatching the 51-50 victory from the apparently toothless jaws of defeat.

    Here we present the most controversial Gold Medal ever awarded, issued to a member of the 1972 Soviet basketball team. It is accompanied by two sworn and signed statements from former President of Orienteering Federation of Moscow Nikolay Kunitsyn along with a pair of Olympic pins likewise acquired from Soviet player Sergei Kovalenko.

    Designed by Gerhard Marcks and produced at the Bavarian Mint, the offered medal is crafted from 175 grams of gilt silver, and measures sixty-six millimeters (66 mm.) 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. While most medals from this Olympics were engraved on the edge with the event and recipient's name, this model is blank on the edge, undoubtedly a function of the challenging circumstances of its presentation. Original gold chain remains. Condition is effectively pristine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    17th-25th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 3
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