Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, now known as Caitlyn, played a small part in the 1984 Summer Olympic torch relay, carrying the flame for about 1,000 meters in Tahoe, Nevada. The philanthropist who coordinated Jenner’s participation in the race will likely see a big pay-off when Jenner’s torch goes up for auction at the end of the month.
The torch, the first significant piece of memorabilia to be auctioned off since the iconic decathlete transitioned to Caitlyn Jenner, is expected to sell for $20,000 or more.
The hotel casino Caesars Tahoe sponsored about 31 miles of the Nevada leg of the Olympic torch’s journey to the Los Angeles Summer Games in 1984. The AP reports that Bob Lorsch, the seller of the torch, said, “Caesars saw it as a tremendous opportunity … to do something more special, never realizing that we would be creating what is truly a piece of history that originated as a piece of sports history, then evolved as a piece of entertainment history through the Kardashian legacy and becoming a cultural phenomenon through the transition to Caitlyn.”
The relay was run from May 7th to July 28th, 1984 and passed through 33 states. It covered a distance of 9,300 miles, then the longest ever. The final torchbearer was another decathlete turned Hollywood star, Rafer Johnson. Johnson won gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics and went on to appear in a number of films, including two Tarzan movies and the James Bond film License to Kill.
The torch will go up for auction on July 30th at the Platinum Night Sports Auction in Chicago.
Four days before, Jenner’s documentary series “I Am Cait” will debut on E! Entertainment. The series will follow Jenner, who won gold at the 1976 Montreal Games, as she transitions from a man to a woman.