24-02-2017 – 25-02-2017
Sports Platinum Auction
Olga Korbut Olympic Collection at Heritage Sports Platinum Auction
Olga Korbut captured the hearts of an international audience through her dominance in the 1972 Munich Olympic gymnastics competition and her subsequent appearance in the Montreal Games four years later. Now at Heritage Auctions’ Feb. 25-26 Sports Platinum Auction, Korbut’s personally consigned collection, including of five of her Olympic medals, will be available to collectors for the first time. Each lot will be joined by a signed letter of provenance from Korbut herself.
At just 4 feet, 11 inches in height, and tipping the scales at just over 80 pounds, it would have been easy to assume Korbut could get swept away in the maelstrom of politics and expectations that swirled around the 1972 Munich Games. But it was at these Games, under those most challenging conditions, that Korbut supplied a gymnastics performance of pure mastery and joy, beginning a global love affair with “The Sparrow from Minsk”, who single-handedly upended the stereotype of the Soviet athlete as a stone-faced automaton.
Lot 80120: 1972 Munich Olympics Individual Floor Exercise Gold Medal. Estimate: 100,000 USD.
A nearly perfect final performance in the Individual floor exercise earned Korbut the only 9.90 awarded in the event and helped her claim the 1972 Munich Olympics Individual Floor Exercise Gold Medal (est. $100,000). This is the only available individual gold medal from Korbut, as her balance beam gold medal was stolen and the other golds in her collection were awarded for team achievement.
In addition to the individual gold medal, Heritage Auctions is offering Korbut’s 1972 Munich Olympics USSR Women’s Gymnastics Team Gold Medal (est. $100,000), …
Lot 80119: 1972 Munich Olympics Individual Uneven Bars Silver Medal. Estimate: 60,000 USD.
…her 1972 Munich Olympics Individual Uneven Bars Silver Medal (est. $60,000), her 1976 Montreal Olympics USSR Women’s Gymnastics Team Gold Medal (est. $100,000)…
Lot 80122: 1976 Montreal Olympics Individual Balance Beam Silver Medal. Estimate: 60,000 USD.
… and her 1976 Montreal Olympics Individual Balance Beam Silver Medal (est. $60,000).
Lot 80284: 1969 Olga Korbut Medal from The Olga Korbut Collection – From One of Her 1st Real Competitions. Estimate: 1,000 USD.
The final signature medal offered is a bronze medal that, according to Korbut, was won during one of her first real competitions, an event sponsored by the Army of the USSR in 1969.
This auction will present the tangible evidence of Korbut’s elite achievement, as well as dozens of other relics of her age of dominance. Today, at age 61, Korbut parts with the mementos of her youthful glory because the thing she values most is always with her. There is hardly a gymnast alive who doesn’t credit this tiny force of nature for the explosion of the sport’s popularity on a global level and for establishing gymnastics as one of the most anticipated competitions of the Summer Games.
Top other items include but are not limited to:
- 1973 Leotard Worn in USSR Gymnastics Display in London (est. $10,000)
Lot 80296: 1988 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame Trophy Presented to Olga Korbut. Estimate: 5,000 USD.
- 1988 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame Trophy (est. $5,000)
- 1968-76 Medals and Pins (est. $8,000)
- 1972 Olympic Worn ID Badge and Ponytail Band (est. $2,000)
All lots of the Heritages’ Sports Platinum Auction can be viewed online here.