Winner’s medal issued for the Athens 1896 Summer Olympics. Bronze, 50 mm, 60 gm, by Jules Clement Chaplain. The front depicts a relief portrait of Zeus holding Nike, the goddess of Victory, in the palm of his hand, with text along left side, “Olympia”; the reverse bears a detailed view of the Acropolis of Athens topped by the Parthenon, with raised Greek characters to upper and lower portion (translated), “International Olympic Games in Athens, 1896.” Stamped “Bronze” on the edge. The upper loop was added at a later date.
This highly sought-after winner’s medal was awarded to Greek wrestler Georgios Tsitas, who finished second in the Greco-Roman wrestling event at the first Modern Olympic Games. The medal is accompanied by a copy of an invitation from George I of Greece to attend an event honoring Tsitas at the Old Royal Palace, as well as two images of Tsitas in his prime and in later age. Winner's medals from the historic debut of the Olympic Games remain exceedingly rare—this being the first we have ever offered—and are among the most sought-after accolades in the realm of sport.
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