Jesse Owens 1936 Berlin Olympics Gold Medal Up for Auction Through OC House

Categories: Sports

Beginning today, bids are being taken for a gold medal won by Jesse Owens at the 1936 Summer Olympics, thanks to a Laguna Niguel auction house.

The medal is being sold by the estate of Elaine Plaines-Robinson, the late widow of Owens' friend, entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, according to SCP auctions owner David Kohler.

Owens gave the medal to Robinson as thanks for helping the Olympian find work in the entertainment industry, Kohler explained. It's unknown if it's the gold medal Owens won in the 100 and 200 meters, long jump or 400 meter relay in Berlin (and much to the chagrin of a certain Der Führer).

"We were very excited to handle a significant artifact as something like this," Kohler told City News Service. "It's bigger than sports memorabilia, it's history."

He added he hopes the buyer donates the medal to a museum like the Smithsonian "for everyone to see this national treasure.''

The same block of memorabilia in the SCP auction that runs through Dec. 7 includes a robe, gloves and trunks worn by Muhammad Ali in his 1976 defense of the world heavyweight championship against Jimmy Young, and a bat Jackie Robinson used in the 1955 World Series.

If you've got the itch to bid, visit

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

I can't imagine the dollars this will pull in. However there is something so sad about selling it, yet I guess I could look at it as making someone (the buyer) so fricken happy to own something like this.


If I owned it, I would probably sell it. I'm not rich and the money that kind of thing would fetch would be a major windfall. But, I can't help but feel selling a piece of history like this is a bit...vulgar. Hopefully it will end up on public display and not locked away in some rich guy's private collection.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault