SUBSCRIBER

Sydney Olympic rings go up for sale on eBay

CHANGING TIMES: The Olympic rings that featured on Sydney Harbour in 2000 were manufactured in Goulburn by Kermac Engineering. They are now for sale on ebay. Photo supplied.
CHANGING TIMES: The Olympic rings that featured on Sydney Harbour in 2000 were manufactured in Goulburn by Kermac Engineering. They are now for sale on ebay. Photo supplied.

They lit up the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the nation's collective chest swelled with pride 20 years ago.

The. Olympic. Rings.

Well, now they can be yours. The none-too-tiny structure - which measures 70m by 40m and was manufactured in Goulburn - is up for auction

Their condition is described as 'used' and the starting price is $14,990.

Over the past five years they've been lying in an engineering yard "rusting," according to a former owner.

Newcastle electrician Tony Stavropoulos bought the rings on an eBay online auction in 2015 for $21,100.

He purchased them from local businessman Bernard Maas, who had bought the former Kermac Engineering site. Kermac Engineering had manufactured the 50-tonne rings for the Olympics but later struck financial trouble.

READ MORE:

Mr Stavropoulos said he always loved the Olympics and snapped up the chance to buy the rings.

"Being Greek, I've always had an affinity with them ... I love everything it stands for," he said.

Over the past five years he's been pitching their sale to the state government to erect near Homebush Stadium. What better idea to mark the Olympics' 20th anniversary, he thought.

"I thought it would be a great idea and would be something to marvel at," Mr Stavropoulos said.

"The Olympics was a great occasion 20 years ago and I thought this would be something to commemorate it and bring in tourists...The Olympics were held in Sydney and that's where they belong."

BIG JOB: Mike Travers was enlisted to move the rings from Goulburn to Queensland in 2015 in an attempt to interest that state for its anticipated 2028 Olympic bid. The logistics proved too difficult. Photo: Peter Oliver.

BIG JOB: Mike Travers was enlisted to move the rings from Goulburn to Queensland in 2015 in an attempt to interest that state for its anticipated 2028 Olympic bid. The logistics proved too difficult. Photo: Peter Oliver.

Though money wasn't a motivator, he said he'd hit a "stone wall" with the state government.

There was also the slight problem of moving the 40 disassembled parts. Mr Maas said no truck would be big enough, as a 2015 attempt proved.

In the meantime, Mr Stavropoulos has paid $50/week to store the rings in the yard.

"They cost $1.2 million to build and it's a shame they're wasting away," he told The Goulburn Post.

"If I don't sell them, they'll go for scrap. You don't get much for steel these days but what else can you do?

"If I had a farm I'd put them up, light them up and sit back with a sauvignon blanc and watch them."

Meantime, Mr Maas said he was thrilled to get $21,000 at the time.

MOVING ON: Newcastle electrician Tony Stavropoulos says he'll be happy just to get his money back on the rings. Photo supplied.

MOVING ON: Newcastle electrician Tony Stavropoulos says he'll be happy just to get his money back on the rings. Photo supplied.

"You wouldn't get that much for scrap," he said.

Mr Maas exhausted all avenues trying to sell the rings and attracted widespread media attention when he posted them on eBay in 2015.

Homebush Stadium didn't want them at the time.

"No one can use them without paying a huge royalty to the International Olympic Committee because of the trademark," he said.

"They are absolutely useless to anyone except the IOC."

Mr Maas recalled that former Goulburn mayor Tony Lamarra wanted to mount them near the city's southern entry. However, he said no one grasped their size and the infrastructure and money needed to erect them.

FOR SALE: Segments of the Olympic rings are sitting "rusting" in a north Goulburn engineering yard. Photo: Louise Thrower.

FOR SALE: Segments of the Olympic rings are sitting "rusting" in a north Goulburn engineering yard. Photo: Louise Thrower.

Council general manager Warwick Bennett said his organisation decided not to buy the rings five years ago.

"We're not interested. The Olympics were a Sydney issue and they can have them," he said.

Mr Stavropoulos did not regret buying them.

"I got divorced - which was my fault - and that cost me more. Things happen in life. It's just $21,000 and I'll be happy if I just get back what I paid."

Bids close at 8am Sunday, September 20, and can be placed at this link. There were none as of Wednesday.

This story Pssst, want to buy some Olympic rings? first appeared on Goulburn Post.