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Jesse Owens’ 1936 gold medal won during the Berlin Games was sold for more than $1.4 million.
When the item was first up for auction, the bidding for Owens’ gold medal was topped at $200,000.
Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Games, beating all other contenders in track and other field events. What made Mr. Owens win so powerfully was the fact that he had many stereotyped odds against him and he beat them. He also shattered Adolf Hitler’s belief that Aryans, fair-skinned with blonde hair and blue eyes, were superior and would dominate the event.
CNN reported that the SCP auctions did not have the other three gold medals, but the gold medal was given up for auction by Elaine Plaines-Robinson, whose deceased husband, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a friend of Owens, got the medal from him.
“It leaves one nearly speechless to behold this medal. It survives as one of the world's most poignant symbols of triumph," the vice president of SCP Auctions, Dan Imler, said. The auction was an online auction and it began on Dec. 2, and closed on Sunday.
The medal was expected to sell for at least $1 million, but it was sold for much more than that. The medal was sold for more than $1.4 million bought by Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, according to The Grio .
Burkle is a Los Angeles billionaire that owns William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize for literature and has investments in retail, food, and company restaurants.
Owen’s gold medal is also the highest paid for U.S. Olympic item. Burkle plans to have an educational tour of the historic item, according to the auction house, but he could not be reached for comment. A portion of the money will go to the Jesse Owens’ Foundation.
It’s amazing that a gold medal that Jesse Owens could not live off of in 1936 has now been sold for more than $1.4 million in 2013.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons