One of the most famous pieces of Olympic history will go on sale this week, when one of Jesse Owens’ four Olympic gold medals finds its way to an online auction.
During the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, German dictator Adolf Hitler sought to showcase what he believed was the supremacy of the Aryan race. But Owens, the African-American son of a sharecropper, nearly single-handedly busted the Nazi propaganda myths, setting a world record in the 100-meter dash and winning three other gold medals in the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter relay and the long jump. His efforts were so lauded that his name is now attached to track and field’s highest annual award.
One of Owens’ gold medals will be sold at an online auction this week. According to SCP Auctions, the sale’s broker, the medal is the real deal. After the 1936 Games, Owens gave the medal to movie star Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and the medal came from the estate of Robinson’s widow. It’s not known for which even Owens won the medal, and the whereabouts of the other three medals are unknown. The auction ends Dec. 7.