For an estimated $100,000 (U.S.), you could own a piece of Olympic hockey history. U.S. Olympic hockey history.
Next month, a Dallas auction house will be selling one of the gold medals won by the 1980 U.S. hockey team that fashioned the legendary Miracle on Ice. The medal is said to be the first offered from the team that knocked off Russia's Big Red Machine then defeated Finland to top the podium at Lake Placid, N.Y.
According to Heritage Auctions (www.HA.com), the medal belonged to forward Mark Wells, a former Montreal Canadiens draft pick (176th overall in the 1977 draft) who never played a game in the NHL. He bounced around the minors until he retired in 1982. He experienced severe back pains and has been bed-ridden for years with a rare genetic disorder of his spinal cord. He sold the medal to an anonymous collector earlier this year to help offset medical costs.
The collector is now selling the medal along with a letter from Wells in which he wrote: "I hope you cherish this medal as much as I have. I personally can not think of another piece of memorabilia that has had such a profound effect on the sports world than this precious keepsake."
Chris Ivy, the director of Heritage Sports Collectibles, was quoted in a news release stating this is "the first time any of the Olympic gold medals awarded to the 20 players of the 1980 'Miracle on Ice' U.S. hockey team … has ever been offered in a public auction and it should bring in six figures."
The auction is set for Nov. 5.