Tags: jesse | owens | medal | auction

One of Jesse Owens Gold Medals Up For Auction

Image: One of Jesse Owens Gold Medals Up For Auction

Monday, 02 Dec 2013 03:01 PM

By Courtney Coren

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One of the four Olympic gold medals won by sprinter Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany is for sale at an online auction in California until Dec. 7

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"We certainly feel that this has potential to go upwards of $1 million," Dan Imler, vice president of SCP Auctions told KABC in Los Angeles, California.

"This medal is one of the most iconic, valuable and important artifacts that's really ever been sold publicly."

SCP Auctions  does not know which event this medal is from even though Owens won the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meter relay and the long jump.

"This remarkable medal, though unidentifiable to a specific event, is the only documented example among the four originals awarded to Owens in Berlin Germany," SCP Auctions explained in the advertisement for the auction. "No verifiable record of the other three medals is known."

This particular medal comes from the estate of dancer and movie star Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who who helped the Olympian find work in the late 1930s when he was struggling to support his family.

The medal was given to Robinson "as a token of gratitude and friendship."

Owens was only 23 years old when he participated in the games, three years after Adolf Hitler first became Chancellor and was growing in power.

"The Nazi games, as they were called, were intended by Hitler to be an exhibition of his notion of Aryan supremacy," Imler said.

As the youngest son of a sharecropper that moved to Ohio in 1922 during the Great Migration from the Jim Crow south, Owens success at the games did not promote that notion.

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