Bob Beamon, the legendary long jumper known for his record-setting performance at the 1968 Summer Olympics, is parting ways with his iconic gold medal. Christie’s Auction House has announced that the medal will be up for auction during The Exceptional Sale, starting on February 1. This historic piece of Olympic history commemorates Beamon’s astounding leap of 29 feet, 2 1/2 inches, which still stands as the Olympic benchmark after fifty-five years.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the now 77-year-old Beamon shared his sentiments about letting go of the symbol of his athletic prowess. “After enjoying and cherishing this medal for over 55 years, I feel it’s time to let it be appreciated by someone else,” he said. “This decision is a significant and heartening step for me.”
Beamon’s long jump at the 1968 Olympics not only set a new standard in the sport but also entered the popular lexicon with its own term: “Beamonesque.” This word denotes an extraordinary or incredible feat. Beamon himself still vividly remembers the disbelief and emotional impact of that moment. It took time for the realization of his achievement to sink in fully.
The prestigious auction house, Christie’s, estimates that the gold medal could fetch between $400,000 and $600,000. Casey Rogers, Head of The Exceptional Sale, highlights the significance of the medal as a physical reminder of an extraordinary Olympic achievement that has stood the test of time. “It’s a piece that connects us directly to a momentous occasion in sports history,” Rogers noted.
Beyond his indelible mark in the world of sports, Beamon has also pursued his passion for music. In fact, he initially considered a career in music before dedicating himself to track and field. Beamon’s musical journey as a percussionist with Stix Bones and The BONE Squad mirrors the discipline and commitment he exhibited in sports. He describes his rigorous practice sessions in music as akin to training for the Olympics.
To mark his official entry into the music scene, Beamon will release his debut recording on January 12, accompanied by a live performance at The Cutting Room in New York City. This event represents another milestone in the life of an athlete who not only achieved historic heights in sports but continues to inspire through his artistic endeavors.
As Beamon’s iconic Olympic medal prepares to find a new home, it serves as a symbol of an extraordinary feat and a testament to the enduring legacy of one of the greatest long jump performances in history. The auction at Christie’s presents a unique opportunity for collectors and sports enthusiasts to own a piece of Olympic history and be connected to a moment that transcends time.