Confession time: I’m not really watching the Olympics. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not paying attention. With news of the event everywhere, it was only a matter of time before someone got around to what really interests me about the Olympics: all the collectible stuff that people will be going home with.
Collectibles can take many forms, and with an event as huge as the Summer Olympics, it’s likely impossible for those attending the games to not come away with some souvenirs. A Reuters article from late last week tackles just that subject, advising those in London lucky enough to attend events to save everything—EVERYTHING!—on the chance that today’s trash will become tomorrow’s treasure.
Said Bonhams auction house’s Lionel Willis:
“Once you get beyond the medals […] it becomes much trickier to predict what might become valuable or collectable in the future. From this Games, we are generating an enormous amount of material of all sorts of ephemera, both printed material, bits of kit and souvenirs and all this sort of stuff – none of which is particularly special right now.
But in 100 years’ time it may well be that just a scarf from an Olympic ‘meeter and greeter’ in the Park might be valuable, because there’s only one left.”
The article advises Olympics-goers to hold onto ticket stubs and even the envelopes that their tickets were sent in because of the special labels sent from the Olympics’ headquarters, and since you never know how many other people have already trashed the extraneous materials. Of course, on the flip side, we know now better than ever before how valuable these kinds of things can be, and more people will likely hold on to their Olympics relics than people in the past did. As such, many items’ rarity will go down, sending potential value down, too.
Of course, that isn’t stopping the City of London itself from getting a jump-start on the auction action—they’ve set up a website selling off bits from the games right now to try and offset the costs of hosting the Olympics. I guess they’re not waiting for that whole “history” thing to happen.