November 5 - Estonian Olympic cycling champion Erika Salumae's gold medals from Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992 have sold for £25,000 ($40,000/€30,000) each at an auction in London.
Neinar Seli, President of the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOC), is believed to have been the person who bought the Seoul medal but the identity of the buyer of the Barcelona 1992 medal, brought over the telephone, is still unknown.
Multiple world track champion Salumae competed under the Soviet Union flag in 1988, winning the individual sprint, before becoming the first Estonian to win an Olympic gold following the country's independence in 1991 when she retained her title at Barcelona 1992.
The 51-yer-old auctioned off a number of items of memorabilia along with the her two Olympic gold medals, including five World Championship medals and the bike she used at Barcelona 1992 which went for £8,000 ($12,700/€9,500), at the sale run by Graham Budd Auctions.
"The two gold medals sold for more than double our estimate of £9000 ($14,000/€11,000) to£12,000 ($19,000/€14,000) each," said Budd.
"The bike was a most unusual item to have in the sale."
In total, the 16 lots auctioned off by Salumae raised £80,000 ($128,000/€95,000) with reports in the Estonian media claiming Salumae, who now lives in Spain, plans to use the money to pay for medical costs following back surgery.
Seli, reportedly among one of the richest men in Estonia who became President of the EOC last year, had vowed to Estonian media days before the auction that he would use his own money to buy Sulamae's Olympic gold medals, which had been on display at the Estonian Museum of Sport.
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