The sanctity of the Olympic Games has been threatened in recent years amidst rabid advertising campaigns, cheap tricks like performance enhancing drugs and the rather loose morals that reportedly abound at the Olympic village (pardon the generalization, but it sure sounds like they know how to have some fun). In the weeks counting down to the big event, individuals involved in the Games have found yet another way to turn a quick buck.
Within hours of the commencement of the 70-day London Olympic relay Saturday in Land’s End, one of the chosen torchbearers had already posted his torch and uniform for sale on eBay. A day after, another torch sold for £153,100, roughly $240,000. True, not all sellers are out for their own gain. This particular torch was posted by Sarah Milner Simonds, of Burnham-on-Sea and the money from the lucky buyer will go towards charity. The tidy chunk of changes will help to establish The People’s Plot, a community gardening project.
London Olympic Torch up for Sale on eBay Hours after it Arrives in UK
Within hours of the successful sale, others quickly took note. Monday, 30 auctions had been posted on the site advertising used torches, some even before bearers had a chance to put them to use. A number even included the white-and-gold torchbearer uniforms in the auction sale.
With the intent to celebrate Britain’s “unsung heroes,” 8,000 torchbearers were nominated by friends and family, recognizing their contribution to local communities, to participate in the historical event. The torches reportedly cost $782 to manufacture and participants could nab them for a steal at just $339.
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The bearers’ entrepreneurial spirit has been met with the blessing of Olympic organizers to boot.
“The majority of people will want to keep their torch, but ultimately it’s their property and for them to decide what to do with it,” a spokesman for Locog said. “We hope the torches and uniforms find good homes.”