Sydney Harbour Bridge Olympic rings on Ebay

Sydney Harbour Bridge Olympic rings

The large, glowing Olympic rings that adorned the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the 2000 Olympics were listed on Ebay for about $8,000.

“The Rings are massive, in good condition and under cover they could be used for igloo type buildings,” read the item description, listed as being in New South Wales and available to ship only to Australia.

The Australian Olympic Committee confirmed the rings were believed to be for sale.

“Yes, I understand someone is selling the structure,” an Australian Olympic Committee official said.

There were zero bids as of Monday evening Eastern Time. The auction was scheduled to end Wednesday morning.

The seller bought the building where the rings were stored, emailed the Australian Olympic Committee and didn’t receive a response, according to the Goulburn Post in New South Wales.

“I need the shed space,” the seller said, according to the report. “They’ve got to go.

“They’re massive things, but structurally they’re in perfect condition.”

The bridge rings were one of the iconic sights of the Sydney 2000 Games. Michael Payne, the former International Olympic Committee marketer, described how they came to fruition in his book, “Olympic Turnaround: How the Olympic Games Stepped Back from the Brink of Extinction to Become the World’s Best Known Brand.”

Payne detailed the rings as made out of 35 tons of steel and 75 meters wide and 35 meters high:

Shortly after Sydney had been awarded the Games, Ric Birch, who had been appointed to produce the ceremonies, came up with the idea of placing a giant icon of the Olympic rings on Sydney Harbour Bridge. Knight decided that this would be an unnecessary extravagance, and repeatedly refused. Others though, believed that the idea had the potential to become the overriding image of the Games and kept quietly working away on the plans. By February 2000, it was clear that if Sydney did not take a decision on the rings on the bridge, it would be too late to undertake the manufacture. Knight was still refusing to allocate the budget and it looked like he idea was not going to happen. Either the IOC was going to have to ‘volunteer to pay’, or Knight would have to be ‘tricked’ into agreeing.
The IOC Executive Board held its final meeting in Sydney prior to the Games in February 2000, and Knight reported to [IOC president Juan Antonio] Samaranch and the Board. I scribbled a note to Samaranch, telling him to read out the message, as part of his concluding remarks, at the end of Knight’s presentation and after all the questions. Samaranch looked at me, asking what on earth this was all about. I just said, trust me, please do it, it will be worth it.
‘Mr. Knight, I understand that you are considering applying the Olympic rings to Sydney Harbour Bridge for the Games’, said Samaranch, squinting at my handwriting, ‘but are not sure if you need the IOC’s approval. I think it is an excellent idea and I am pleased to approve it. Thank you, meeting closed.’