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Olympic Philately, Numismatic and Memorabilia Commission

The Olympic Games generate collectibles shrouded in history and symbolism.


Olympic posterity

With the revival of the Olympic Games, it was only natural and obvious that many collectibles would be left for posterity, as no event can take place without leaving behind such souvenirs. One of the first ones was the menu of a dinner of the International Olympic Committee (Athens 1896).

For collectors’ pleasure

There are two kinds of souvenirs: ones which are intended as souvenirs and ones that are natural by-products of the Games. Both have immediately become collectibles. In the beginning, these items were collected only by the IOC, athletes, officials and some of the spectators. It was only during the late 1920s that some collectors started seriously collecting Olympic memorabilia (all souvenirs with the exception of Olympic stamps and coins).

Auctions and surprises

Collecting Olympic memorabilia is nowadays a very serious matter, connected with auctions, fairs and treasure hunting.

Contribution to Olympic history

Collectors of Olympic memorabilia have made several contributions to complete Olympic history. For example, in their discovery of memorabilia from the non-celebrated Games of 1916, 1940 and 1944.

For the apassionato of Olympism, these items are much more than paper and material and represent the very history of the event, meant to be saved and treasured.