An original 1913 drawing of the Olympic rings by modern Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin was sold via a French auction house for $216,000 on Sunday.
A Brazilian collector paid 185,000 euros, with an extra 27 percent added for a total of more than $275,000, according to the auction house.
De Coubertin had the idea to revive the Olympic Games. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896. In 1913, the rings were first unveiled. They debuted at the Olympics in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium, as part of the Olympic Flag.
They are a symbol of global unity — five interlocking rings — blue, yellow, black, green and red — representing the union of five continents: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. It is said that at least one of the five colors appears in the flag of every nation of the world.
Last December, the Olympic Manifesto, Coubertin’s 1892 document that outlined the revival of the Olympics, was sold for $8,806,500 to a Russian billionaire who then donated it to the IOC.
It was the highest sale price ever for a piece of sports memorabilia, according to Sotheby’s, shattering the $5.4 million for a Babe Ruth New York Yankees jersey. It went for more than 8.5 times its $1 million high estimate, following a 12-minute bidding battle.
The manifesto went missing during the World Wars. In the 1990s, the Marquis d’Amat of France “scoured flea markets” in Europe and the U.S., tracking it down from a collector in Switzerland, according to the IOC.
Coubertin gave his heart to the Olympic Movement — it rests inside a monument at the ancient Olympic site of Olympia.
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