By Tony Field
A bronze medal was the reward for years of hard work by Polish windsurfer Zofia Noceti-Klepacka.
But she says she can't wait to sell it.
She wants to raise money for her five-year-old neighbour who is being treated for cystic fibrosis.
Even more than bronze, a gold medal would be the ultimate prize for a collector, even though the medals have not been made of pure gold since the Stockholm Olympics 100 years ago.
Hayden Syers of New Zealand Mint says there’s only a relatively small amount of gold in the modern medals.
“The gold medals have about 93 percent silver in them, with around two percent gold. Now that puts the value of the gold content actually lower than the silver content.”
So based on the silver, the gold and the copper content, each gold medal would be insured for around US$590, or NZ$725.
The silver medal, made mainly of silver with a little copper, is valued at around $409.
The bronze is valued at around $3.68.
Of course, it's the story behind each medal that will add to its value for collectors.
Two of 1920s Australian rower Bobby Pearce's gold medals were recently auctioned, along with some of his memorabilia, for $95,000.
While most athletes will keep their medals, some will sell them and a few even manage to lose them.
The IOC. receives one or two calls every year from past winners asking to replace a medal.