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RARE Munich Olympiad Torch 1972 « Sport & Olympics collectibles « Home

RARE Munich Olympiad Torch 1972

RARE Munich Olympiad Torch 1972 view full size

RARE Munich Olympiad Torch 1972


One of the countries through which the Olympic fire to Munich passed in 1972 is Bulgaria.
The communist regime didn't provide much information about this event because of the anti capitalist moods prevailing at the time.
At the beginning, the Bulgarian Olympic commitee refused to allow the Olympic fire to pass through Bulgaria. However, if the Bulgarian NOC had stuck to its refusal, the Olympic fire would have had to be brought by motor yacht to Constanza, Rumania. Alternative routes were worked out for Turkey, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Hungary's consent at the end of April, 1971 and Bulgaria's two months later made matters clear. Now detailed route planning could proceed. The majority of NOCs accepted the OC's suggested routes and only Bulgaria insisted that it pass through the tourist centers on the Black Sea instead of through the capital Sofia. This lengthened the relay route by about 100 km.
After the Olympiad was over, most of the torches were gathered by the Communist party, so that pro Western propaganda would be avoided. That is why the torches preserved are really rare in Bulgaria. The torch we offer came from a private collection
In 1972, for a torch carrier was selected the captain and goal keeper of the football team in Byala, Iliya Iliev. The Byala-Varna trace was a part of the Olympic route. (Varna is referred to as BulgariaÂ’s sea capital). In one part of the trace there took participation several team mates of the captain of the football team who carried the torch. This is evident from the photo we enclose to the torch. The photo was taken precisely when the torch was handed to the captain. The photo is a part of a family album and it is a bit torn at the upper end when it was removed from the album. Still, it is a precious piece of evidence of a significant sports event.
Most of the torches were confiscated by the party people. As the captain carrier of the torch was under the protections of his uncle, a respected party leader, who was once a member of the Partisan movement. Thus, the torch was preserved in the collection of the team. Later, the torch became a part of the torch carrierÂ’s personal collection. Now, we offer it to the Olympiad collectors, as an item like this deserves being a part of a great collection. The torch had survived throughout the communist regime and now reaches us in VG, close to perfect condition, despite the years that have passed. The only flaw is a hardly visible indent on the plate, which is a result of the feast of the footballers the night after they participated in the torch carrying act.
The torch is 72 cm/28.3 inches long, together with the original gas bottle which weighs 897 grams. The torch consists of three pieces that were screwed together and were manufactured of rustless nickel chromium steel. On the lower part are etched the following letters: "Spiele der XX. Olympiade" and "Munchen 1972". On the inside and outside part of the cylinder plug of the torch can be read information about the producer: "KRUPP" and Hagri 4307 Kettwig W. - Germany" In the inside compartment of the handle is still left the original metal gas bottle. It is empty but provides information about the producer, characteristics of the gas bottle and the symbols of the Munich Olympiad. This rare item, in rarely well preserved condition is a part of the Olympic spirit of the 1970s.

•The 1972 Munich Games were the largest yet, setting records in all categories, with 195 events and 7,173 athletes from 121 nations
•The Olympics were suspended and a memorial service was held in the main stadium. The reason why was a terrorist act which brought in the death of 11 sportsmen of the Israeli team and a policeman. In defiance of the terrorists, the International Olympic Committee ordered the competitions to resume after a pause of 34 hours.
•For the first time since the Olympic Summer Games of Berlin in 1936 the Olympic Flame was run over land only.

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