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Stephanie Levitz

Buy yourself a piece of the Vancouver Olympics

Fourth-Place Medal

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Metaphorically, Canada’s athletes will not own the podium.

But if they wanted to buy an actual 2010 Olympic podium, they can. The price is yet to be set, but podiums are among the thousands of items the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee will be selling off after the Games.

Some are already up for auction, including pucks, worn hockey jerseys, signed programs and the like — all officially Olympic. Once the Games are over, the list of items is expected to expand — right down to furniture and signage.

As with pretty much everything Olympics, there is a little bit of irony — the stuff is for sale on eBay. A year ago they closed down their B.C. facility and laid off 700 people.

Anyway ... organizers spent over a billion dollars buying things for the Games, and their sponsors kick in millions of dollars worth of stuff as well. They have to do something with it afterward.

The 4,600 GM vehicles being used during the Games will be given over to dealers to sell after the Games. The mattresses given by Sleep Country for the athletes' village will be cleaned and donated to shelters.

The auction is as much a financial tool as it is a chance for fans to own a piece of the Games.

Beijing Olympic organizers sold 700,000 items after the 2008 Games, eventually netting their committee $27 million. Vancouver is only selling about 10,000 pieces, but as their bills start coming in, any extra cash will definitely come in handy.

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