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Olga Korbut, to save her from hunger, sells Munich Olympics gymnastics medals

Soviet gymnastics star Olga Korbut has sold her Olympic medals and other memorabilia to help her financial struggles. Olga Korbut was the darling of the 1972 Munich Olympics where she won two golds and a silver.

other sports Updated: Feb 28, 2017 19:02 IST
olga korbut,gymnastics,soviet union
In this August 1972 file photo, Olga Korbut of Russia, throws up her arms in joy after winning the individual women's gymnastic event at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. At 61, Korbut enjoys a quiet life in Arizona. (AP)

Olga Korbut, the gymnastics darling of the 1972 Munich Olympics who has apparently fallen on hard times, has sold off her Games medals and other trophies through a US auction house.

Thirty-two lots, including two golds and a silver from the Munich Olympics, fetched USD 333,500 (INR 2.22 Crore) in a weekend online sale by Heritage Auctions for the former Soviet gymnast who now lives in Arizona, auction house spokesman Chris Ivy told Reuters on Monday.

Olga Korbut is struggling with her finances. ( Reuters )

The top item was her team gold medal, which brought USD 66,000 for the 61-year-old Korbut, a native Belarusian who moved to the United States in 1991.

Russia’s news reported that she has had financial difficulties. “Medals saved Korbut from hunger,” said the headline, the BBC reported.

FILE - In this March 19, 1973 file photo, Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut does a backward somersault on the balance beam during an exhibition in Philadelphia. ( AP )

At the age of 17, the 4-foot-11 (1.5 m) Olga Korbut made a giant impression across the globe at the Munich Games with electrifying routines that brought her team, balance beam and floor exercise gold and a silver in the uneven bars.

In this Feb. 14, 2017 photo, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Olga Korbut poses in in Scottsdale, Arizona. ( AP )

Four years later Olga Korbut, who triggered an explosion of interest in gymnastics, added another gold and a silver at the Montreal Olympics.

Sale items included one of her performance leotards, her 1972 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award and various Soviet medals.

First Published: Feb 28, 2017 10:45 IST