Rare Lake Placid 1980 gold medal awarded to legendary figure skater Alexander Zaitsev
Outstanding gold winner’s medal issued to Soviet Union figure skater Alexander Zaitsev for the Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics. Gilt silver, 80 mm, 221 gm, by Tiffany and Co. of New York. The front, inscribed “XIII Olympic Winter Games,” depicts a raised hand holding the Olympic torch against a mountain backdrop, with the Olympic rings to the right side; the reverse, inscribed “Lake Placid 1980,” features a small Lake Placid Games emblem and a large pine branch with cones, with the sport engraved below, “Figure Skating Pairs,” with the athlete's name in Cyrillic. Inscribed on the bottom edge, “Tiffany & Co., Sterling Silver, 1979.” Retains its original white-and-blue ribbon. Complete with its beautiful original Tiffany's presentation case with its protective white box.
A hero in Russia, Alexander Zaitsev is a legendary pair skater—with partner Irina Rodnina, he is a two-time Olympic champion, six-time World champion, and seven-time European champion. From 1973 to 1980, they won every event they entered and are, to date, the most decorated pair team of all time.
In the United States, the 1980 Winter Olympics are best remembered for the historic victory of the US men's hockey team over the heavily favored USSR in the 'Miracle on Ice.' Zaitsev's triumphant final Olympic appearance took place on the same ice. A mere 73 first-place gold medals were awarded at the Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics, making this an exceptionally rare and desirable example.