14 Aug 2012

Everything must go: London 2012 sell-off begins

When the Olympics have lept their final hurdle, what do you do with all the kit? With the athletes now gone, the big London 2012 sell-off begins with flags, costumes and sports equipment up for grabs.

Everything must go: London 2012 sell-off begins. (Reuters)

Ever fancied wearing a cone-shaped electric dress, as seen at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony? Or how about a genuine Moscow 1980 Olympic torch? And what about a signed Bradley Wiggins replica kit?

All these and more pieces of London 2012 memorabilia could be yours if you have a few thousand quid lying around through the Official London 2012 Auction. The auction, which started before the Games with torches left over from the torch relay, is part of Locog’s strategy to dispose of some of the equipment and clothing used during the event.

Items from the opening ceremony included flags, costumes and props like a farmer’s sickle, maypole and Mary Poppins’ handbag. More will be added as it becomes available with organisers estimating that thousands more products will be up for grabs after the Paralympics.

At the time of writing the highest bid was £20,000 for a bronze medal from the St Louis Games Olympics. Those on a lower budget can pick up the flag of Cyprus for £25.


A bigger sell-off was avoided because the organisers chose to lease rather than buy much of the equipment needed to run the Games.

A spokesperson for London 2012 said: “All of our computer equipment is leased from a company. The biggest proportion of stuff is hired, borrowed, leased and rented. It is a more sustainable way of doing things.”

Some of the companies that have supplied these items on hire are holding their own auctions. The website called Remains of The Games sells fixtures and furniture from the Olympic Village supplier Ramler for a fixed price.

For those without the means for an opening ceremony costume, for just a few pounds an illuminated traffic wand, bathroom bin or laundry rack may be more affordable. Larger items such as an Olympic-branded hospitality desk or a sofa are also available.

The Remains of the Day head of operations Paul Levin said the site was set up because of the sheer volume of items available following the close of the games. “When you have 72,000 chairs in one colour it presents a challenge,” he said.

Usain Bolt’s duvet

Sales of the Olympic Village items were originally only available to the conference trade, but since opening it to the public they have proved popular, to Mr Levin’s surprise.

“We are bopping out beanbags to America,” he revealed. “People have loved them and they have gone everywhere because of the magic of the Games.”

Mr Levin said that there are many items from the village that have yet to go online, including a Conran designed sofa from the International Olympic Committee VIP suite. He expects the sale to last until October.

The proceeds from the official London 2012 auction will go towards paying back the cost of hosting the Games. However, some fans were left disappointed after rumours Usain Bolt’s duvet was in the auction proved to be unfounded.