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Got $5,000? You could dunk the Olympic basketball

By Dave Gilbert, CNN
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Mon August 13, 2012
Several of the mascot sculptures -- like this one of Wenlock -- are being auctioned off by Games organizers.
Several of the mascot sculptures -- like this one of Wenlock -- are being auctioned off by Games organizers.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than £3,000 ($4,709) has been bid for the basketball used in the men's Olympic final won by the U.S.
  • Organizers say the money raised so far has helped subsidize the costs of torches and torchbearers
  • LOCOG says nearly 2,000 items have been put up for sale
  • Even a farmer's sickle from the pastoral scene at the opening ceremony is being auctioned

London (CNN) -- Where can you buy a large punk rock head complete with pink Mohawk haircut, Mary Poppins' coat and umbrella, and a pair of competition boxing gloves used by elite athletes?

The answer is the London Olympic Games auction site where organizers are selling off everything from the discus and javelins thrown by competitors to props and costumes used in the opening ceremony.

Although the Games closed Sunday with the Olympic flag being handed over to the 2016 host city of Rio de Janeiro, enthusiasm for the London Olympics appears to be as strong as during the last two weeks when competitors performed in front of packed stadia and to a global audience of millions.

With only a few hours left in one sale, more than £3,000 ($4,709) has been bid for the basketball used in the men's final won by the U.S. in a close-fought game with Spain.

It remains to be seen whether these bids are completed, but another enthusiast has offered double the basketball price for a limited edition of a 2012 Olympic torch signed by Bradley Wiggins -- the British cyclist who added the time trial gold medal to his victory in this year's Tour de France.

Another bidder says they are prepared to pay £3,000 ($4,709) for a two-meter high sculpture of Wenlock -- one of the 2012 mascots -- and £456 ($716) is the current price for a set of goal posts used in the handball final.

The London Olympics organizing committee, LOCOG, says the money raised so far has helped subsidize the costs of torches and torchbearers and also contributes towards hosting the giant sporting festival.

Organizers say building the venues, improving infrastructure and staging the event cost in excess of £9 billion ($14 billion) with the cash coming from both public funds and through sponsorship, ticket sales, merchandizing and the sale of media rights.

"There has been a lot of interest on the site and it's great to see people want to own a piece of Olympic history," said a LOCOG spokesperson.

"We've had 1,735 different items put up for sale...and the biggest seller has been the torches."

Flags, balls, boxing headgear, athletes' signed photos -- even a farmer's sickle from the pastoral scene at the opening -- are still up for grabs.

But you will need very deep pockets for some of the items. A bronze medal from the St. Louis Games in 1904 which is advertised on the site is currently attracting a bid of £20,000 ($31,404).

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