The world holds its breath for what looks set to be the finest Olympic Games ever staged.
Homebush Bay in Sydney, Australia, is the site that was selected to be the first Games of the new millennium. Commencing from September 2000 and running until October, around 10,000 athletes from all Olympic nations will gather to compete in the 28 sporting events, each vying for that most coveted gold medal which will make their fellow countrymen most proud.
With the expected influx of tourists, competitors and spectators, the production of official licensed 2000 Olympic merchandise is moving full speed ahead. More than any other year in Olympic history, the demand for Olympic memorabilia next year will be the great, for many collectors seek that special souvenir to commemorate the Games of the brand new millennium.
Commemorative coins always remain an indispensable part of the Olympics. In the past, the ancient Greeks even thought that such a coin would bring people closer to the games.
An album containing sleeves to hold the coins is a well-presented product which features information on each of the sports, an outline of the current Olympic Record Holders and the champions of the last games held in 1996 at Atlanta. There are 28 $5(Australian) aluminum bronze coins in this series, each featuring one of the sporting events. These retail at around $6(US) and are being released a few at the time commencing from October 1997 through to May 2000.
Pin collecting is one of the most enjoyable events of the Olympics and is often aptly referred to as the "spectator sport". Mascot sport pins featuring the Sydney Olympic mascots Syd the Platypus, Millie the Echidna and Olly the Kookaburra are available at $5(US) while moving pins of the same mascots are $13 (US). Flag pins for most of the competing nations are $6(US), and pictogram pins, which feature each of the sports, are at $5(US). Paralympic pins will set you back $6(US).
If you are looking for complete pin sets, expect to pay between $19 US, which will get you a Circle Sydney 2000 or the Sail Sydney 2000 Logo set, or right up to the maximum of $165 US for the Sydney 2000 framed set.
For the not so zealous collector, how does a cuff link and tie bar set at $20(US) sound? Or perhaps the Olympic spoons in a leatherette case for $27(US).
For the art lover, an Olympic poster at $17(US) would look aesthetically pleasing when preserved as a blockmount or either framed. With local artists such as David Lancashire, Barrie Tucker, and Andrew Hoyne displaying their artistic interpretation of the games, they will be a colorful momento to treasure in your home.
It's almost a year till the 2000 Olympics are upon us. It is wise to start your collection from now if you haven't already done so, for collectibles are already starting to fly off the shelf at a sprinters pace. Your Sydney Olympic collection will be a momento to be cherished for the years to come.
Eileen O'Connell is an Australian-based writer. She is currently busy compiling a book on Cult Television shows from the 60's, 70's and 80's, as a co-author with David Rogerson.