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Steve Holcomb On The True Value Of An Olympic Gold Medal

As the 2012 Summer Olympics steadily approach, a traditional question is being asked by spectators all over the globe: How much is a gold medal worth? Steve Holcomb, 2010 Olympic gold winner, explains his take on the medal's appreciation.

At this moment, the precious Olympic medals that will be distributed at this year's summer games are safely stored in the historic Tower of London for protection. However, as sports enthusiasts and patriots anticipate which athletes will receive these treasured awards, many wonder what the exact worth of these objects are. A recent article from ABC News reveals the monetary value of these medals, but for bobsledding champion, Steve Holcomb, a gold medal means much more than that.

Steve Holcomb comments on how he approaches his medal's worth, "People are always asking me what my medal is worth. I usually tell them it's priceless. I realize what they're actually asking, but I never tell them. If they keep pressing, I give them a standard, 'I'm not sure.' Mainly because the reality is that it's not worth as much as you might think, and it's disappointing to hear. But to me, it's priceless."

The ABC News article reveals just how disappointing those figures are; if today's gold medal was to be melted down and sold at the current market value, it would only total in at approximately $650. The reason for the low number is because the medals are not truly made of solid gold - and have not been that way since the 1912 Olympics. The article explains, "An Olympic gold medal is mostly made of silver. Weighing in at 412 grams -or roughly the weight of a can of green beans - the gold medal is made up of only 1.34 percent, or about six grams of gold."

However, the medals still rank according to their worth, with silver medals being worth about $335 and the bronze medal coming in at less than $5. The article notes that most athletes look at the worth in another light; each medal is a symbol of achievement, and is special in its own right due to its unique design according to that year's games. Despite having a low actual worth, some athletes have successfully sold their gold medals for charity at well over the market value.

Steve Holcomb does not plan to sell his medal though, as it means too much to him. He concludes by describing what his medal represents to him, "The amount of money I've spent to get to the top; the number of hours of work I put in; the amount of work my parents put in; the hardships, the blood, the sweat, the tears; there just isn't any way that I can convey to people what I've been through and what it's worth to me."


Steve Holcomb is an American bobsledding champion who helped the American bobsled team win a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada. Prior to that success, Holcomb faced one of the most challenging problems in his life - overcoming the degenerative eye disease known as Keratoconus. Through an innovative treatment, known as C3-R, Steve Holcomb was able to restore his vision and remain committed to his passion for bobsledding.

Categories: Winter Sports

Tags: Steve Holcomb, Steven Holcolm Olympics, Steven Holcomb

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