Olympics hero Craig to auction ‘Miracle on Ice’ gold medal
There was Jim Craig on the ice, the epitome of Americana. The fresh-faced college boy, just 22, wearing a U.S. flag and looking in the stands for his beloved dad.
Many of the images from the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” are unforgettable. But that one, of the plucky goaltender who helped lead the young American hockey team to improbable Olympic glory over the heavily favored Soviets, really stands out.
Now just about everything in that memory is for sale to the highest bidder on the Lelands auction website.
“I’m selling my ‘Miracle on Ice’ collection to ensure a healthy financial future for my children and grandchildren,” Craig said, according to a news release from the auction house. “I also plan to donate proceeds from the auction to charities and causes that are near and dear to my heart.”
The collection includes the gold medal Craig won as a member of the team that pulled off arguably the greatest sports upset in history: a 4-3, come-from-behind win over the 14-time world champs, the Soviet Union.
That victory was followed two days later by a triumph over Finland that clinched Lake Placid gold.
After that 4-2 win, Craig was handed a flag by a U.S. fan and skated around mouthing, “Where’s my father?”
The flag, too, is part of the auction, which began Tuesday and ends June 17. There have been questions about whether this flag is really the one Craig wore in victory, but Lelands says it has been authenticated by a former FBI scientist.
The gold medal already has one bid of $100,000.
Bids for the jersey Craig wore in the medal-round game against the Soviet Union and the flag also start at $100,000.
Collectors can also buy his mask, his skates, a stick, his pads and even the the outfit he wore to the opening ceremonies. In all, 17 items are for sale.
Craig and Lelands hope the collection will sell for more than $5 million. The entire collection was offered last summer as one lot for $5.7 million but was later pulled.
Craig, who had a short career in professional hockey, is a motivational speaker, according to his Twitter page.
By Steve Almasy