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Considered to represent the pinnacle of athletic prowess, the Olympics
and its athletes have drawn record crowds for generations. Olympian
autographs share in that legacy, allowing their acquisition to symbolize the
collector's connection to the sport.
The Olympic games were launched in the 8th century Greek city of
Olympia. Designed as a celebration of athleticism to honor the Greek
pantheon of gods, the Olympic games continued consistently over the
subsequent 1200 years only to be outlawed in the 4th century A.D. by
Roman Emperor Theodosius. The competition was revived in the late 19th
century with the first modern games taking place again in Athens in
Since the competition's revival, the Olympics have only increased in
popularity. Now fans of both summer and winter Olympic competitions
flock for the chance to see their favorite athletes compete. The added bonus
of an autograph only makes the experience more memorable.
The first winter Olympics took place in 1924 in Chamonix,
Mid-20th century Michigan middle distance runner Herbert Barten
acquired 45 autographs from his fellow teammates on his race bib during the
1948 London Olympic Games
American swimmer Michael Phelps holds the record for winning the
most Olympic medals including 18 golds. His autographs can sell for several