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Press Release - July 7, 2015

1984 Olympic Torch carried by Caitlyn Jenner, when she identified as Bruce, up for auction

July 30, 2015, via Heritage Auctions at the National Sports Collectors Convention; Carried through Lake Tahoe, NV by Jenner, then just eight years removed from her 1976 Olympic Gold Medal, won when she identified as Bruce Jenner


Caitlyn Jenner Olympic torch
DALLAS – The Olympic Torch that Olympian Caitlynn Jenner, arguably the most famous transgender person in the world, carried in the 1984 Olympic Torch Relay as it passed through Lake Tahoe, NV — then just eight years removed from winning the 1976 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal — will cross the auction block on Thursday, July 30, 2015 as part of Heritage Auctions' Platinum Night Sports Auction at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

"Perhaps no athlete in history has traveled a more winding road through the various states of celebrity than Jenner," said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. "From All-American sports star to patriarch of Keeping Up Kardashians, the world's most famous reality television family to her current status as the pioneer and centerpiece of the evolving global transgender conversation. This is the first major piece of Jenner memorabilia to surface and we expect collectors will find it every bit as significant as we think it is."

Jenner was America's most celebrated Olympian when she was asked to by the management of Caesars Tahoe Hotel Casino, which had paid handsomely to redirect the 1984 torch relay route through its scenic environment, to contribute to its program benefitting America's youth.

Jenner told a journalist from People Magazine, before the 1984 run, "I can't stand running. And anyway I know people will laugh at me when they see my knees. But it's for a good cause, so I'll do it."

"At 34 years of age, and only eight years after her Gold Medal heroics at the 1976 Montreal Olympics," said Ivy, "Jenner would carry the flame across the Nevada border into California and hand it off."

The story is recounted by the consignor, Robert H. Lorsch — a marketing and promotion strategist who is also well-known for his work as an entrepreneur and philanthropist — who orchestrated the South Lake Tahoe leg of the relay and secured Jenner's services for the program. Through his Foundation, Lorsch has loaned the prized torch out to Marathon Kids, a running and nutrition program, which held the final lap of its 2012 Marathon Challenge at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, making it the only torch from the Tahoe leg of the torch relay to also run in the Coliseum, the home of the 1984 Olympic Games.

"As the 1976 Olympic Decathlon Champion," said Lorsch, "Jenner was the only celebrity runner designated during the 50 kilometer stretch that Caesars Tahoe sponsored."

Now, 30 years after the Olympic Torch Relay, Caitlyn has become "The Torchbearer" for the transgender community, handing off a truly significant and one of a kind piece of sports, entertainment and cultural history.

It is estimated at $20,000+.

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