First Modern Olympic Games Sold at Auction

The medal awarded at the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896 was recently sold at auction for $65,625 (EUR 55,375). 


The bronze medal was awarded to Georgios Tsitas, who was the runner-up in the Greco-Roman wrestling competitions at those games. 

At that time, the first-place winner received a silver medal, diploma and olive branch, and the runner-up received a bronze medal, diploma and laurel branch. Tsitas lost to German wrestler Carl Schuhmann, who won three other first places in gymnastics.

An amazing medal designed by the famous French Art Nouveau sculptor and medal designer Jules-Clement Chaplain, decorated with a relief of the goddess of victory Nike being held by Zeus (Jeus). 


On the edge of the medal is the word “Olympia”. On the back is a detailed view of the Parthenon on the top of the Acropolis and the words “1896 Athens International Olympic Games” written in Greek. 

In addition to the medal itself, the auction also includes two photos of Georgios Tsitas and an invitation to the celebration held by King George I of Greece in his palace. 

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