Olympic Collectors, Dealers Will Descend on Chicago Too

Rich Mueller@sportscollectorContributor IIIJuly 25, 2011

For the first time ever, the World Olympic Collectors Fair will be held in North America.  The Fair will be held in conjunction with the 2011 National Sports Collectors Convention, to be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, August 3-7, in Chicago.

1968 Olympic legends Dick Fosbury and Bob Beamon will be among the special guests.

The World Olympic Collectors Fair is the largest Olympic collectors fair held annually.   Previous events have been held in Lausanne, Switzerland; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Seoul, South Korea; Warsaw, Poland; Cologne, Germany; Beijing, China.

In 2010, The International Olympic Committee awarded the rights to organize and host this year event to The Olympin Collectors Club, which is the oldest and largest Olympic pin and memorabilia collector’s organization in the world.

Based near Albany, New York, The Olympin Collectors Club was founded in 1980, just after the XIII Olympic Winter Games that were held in Lake Placid.

The World Olympic Collectors Fair will feature Olympic pin and memorabilia collectors and dealers not only from North and South America, but Europe Asia, Australia, and more.  Members of the International Olympic Committee will be attending the event as well as participating in the official Opening Ceremony of the 17th World Olympic Collectors Fair.Overtime puck from USA-Canada gold medal Olympic hockey game

The World Olympic Collectors Fair will include Olympic pins, mascots, posters, prize medals, commemorative medals, stamps, coins, programs, tickets, uniforms, Games-used equipment, and more.

Members of the International Olympic Committee and special VIP’s will be attending the event, including IOC marketing director, Gerhard Heiberg and Fosbury, the 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist who are both scheduled to participate in the official Opening Ceremony.

Fosbury, inventor of the "Fosbury Flop", the method by which virtually all high jumpers now clear the bar will be a special guest of the National on Wednesday, August 3. He'll be signing free autographs at the VIP Party from 2:30-3:30 and at the 32nd National Sneak Peek from 4:30-6:30. He will also have a booth in the Olympic Pavilion, representing the World Olympians Association of which he is President.

Beamon, whose electrifying long jump leap of 29' 2 1/2" in the 1968 Summer Olympics at Mexico City stood for 23 years, will have a short ride to the show.  He's an associate athletic director at Chicago State University.

In conjunction with the event, the US Postal Service will have a special station at the National. A special show cancellation will be available for each day of the event. In addition, there will be a large display of Olympic stamps from all over the world. On Friday evening, August 5, a special banquet will be held at the Doubletree Hotel at 8 PM with Olympic Historian Bill Mallon as guest speaker. The banquet will be preceded by a silent auction. For additional details on all these activities, please contact Jim Greensfelder at medal_man@hotmail.com.