Olympic Legends: Collecting Trading Cards of Olympic Athletes and Historic Moments

Olympic Rings in a park

Modern conversation around trading cards revolves largely around staple lineups like Panini National Treasures and Topps’ Chrome hobby boxes. It’s easy to see why, with their eye-catching designs, dazzling prices, and behind-the-scenes drama. Olympic cards tend to fly under the radar for many collectors, but they’re absolutely worth paying attention to.

Olympic cards have the unique ability to encapsulate the spirit of an era. These cards are not just collectibles but time capsules that immortalize some of the best moments in Olympic history. They embody the zeitgeist of their times in a way that no other card can, making them a must-have for any sports card collector.

Is Collecting Olympic Trading Cards Worth It?

Absolutely! Here’s what makes these cards worth the chase.

  • Low Investment, High Returns: If your biggest priority is ROI, Olympic cards need to be on your list. Olympic hobby boxes are significantly more affordable on the secondary market compared to popular alternatives like basketball card boxes. Olympic cards generally don’t reach the heights of popular signed rookie cards, but the low barrier to entry makes them an appealing option for collectors who want to diversify.

  • Sentimentality: Trading cards are so much more than just an investment. As the world’s biggest and longest-running multi-sport event, the Olympic Games are directly connected to some of the most iconic sporting moments of all time. Similarly, certain events like the 1936 and 1980 Olympic Games were defined entirely by the political context of their times. Olympic trading cards related to these events are treasured by a much wider audience, like history buffs.

  • Multi-Sport Cards: No other event can bring together the best athletes from multiple disciplines in one place. If you’re a longtime fan of multiple sports, these cards are the classiest way to remember the best Olympic moments. For example, the famous 1991 Impel Hall of Fame hobby case celebrates the greatest American athletes, including Olympic legends like Jesse Owens.

Do They Still Make New Olympics Cards?

Yes! Marketing and production usually ramp up before each Olympic Games, so these hobby boxes fly under the radar most of the time. Topps leads the trading card market here with their Team USA blaster and hobby boxes. You can easily get a great deal on 2021, 2014, and even 1992 hobby boxes online. Newcomers will also want to keep an eye out for the upcoming Topps hobby boxes for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Iconic Olympic Trading Cards

Mike Eruzione - 1980 Topps Hockey

This trading card is the perfect intersection of history and athletic performance. Set during a particularly intense period in the Cold War, the 1980 Olympics are still remembered as a triumphant moment for the U.S.

Mike Eruzione was the captain of the U.S. men's hockey team at the time, leading his squad to a massive upset victory with the game-winning goal at frosty Lake Placid. This stunning turnaround in the final moments of the game was immediately dubbed the ‘Miracle on Ice’, and the moniker has stuck ever since. The famous 1980 Topps sports card captures this miracle in all its elegance, with a ‘Greatest Olympians’ header and Mike in an action pose.

  • ‘Miracle’ Group: If you’re a hockey fan, you’ll also want to look out for the 1991 Impel card celebrating the entire U.S. hockey team, including Mike Eruzione. This Olympic trading card is dedicated to the ‘Miracle’ event, and its depiction of the whole team makes it a great catch for collectors. The 1991 Impel hobby box is still surprisingly affordable even now, going for around $39 on secondary markets.

a group of ice hockey players on the rink

Jesse Owens - 1983 Topps M&M’s

The 1983 Topps M&M’s Olympic issue covers nearly every American athlete who participated in the best Olympic moments of all time until that point, including Jesse Owens. The Jesse Owens 1983 legacy card spotlights his historic participation in the 1936 Olympics, set in Berlin. This charged event took place at the height of the Nazi regime, and Owens’ legendary victory was a massive blow against the regime’s propaganda.

Owens would win a whopping four gold medals at the event, setting five world records and tying for a sixth to cement his place as one of the greatest athletes to ever do it. This 1983 Olympic trading card puts Jesse Owens front and center, ready to launch off and break some records.

Michael Jordan - 1992 Hoops

This 1992 NBA Hoops card takes us back to everybody’s favorite basketball reunion. The 1992 Summer Olympics reunited Michael Jordan, in his prime, with legendary players like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Bird and Johnson’s famous rivalry on and off the court made this unlikely reunion a must-watch event, with fans calling it the ‘Dream Team.’ A PSA 10 version of this card can easily sell for over $200, and Jordan’s enduring legacy will only drive that value up.

Build Your Legacy

The right trading card can take you back in time to the best Olympic moments. Whether you’re an avid collector or just a fan of history, a framed Olympic trading card is the perfect piece to round off your collection. These surprisingly affordable trading cards can still be found as singles on online marketplaces. Depending on your region, you might even be able to find an intact 1991 Impel or 1983 Topps M&M card set at a bargain.

Or, get it all in one place with Giant Sports Cards! From autographed sports memorabilia to TCGs, we’re the one-stop destination for everything collectors will love. Celebrate your favorite Olympic legends with free shipping on orders over $199 and enjoy our lightning-fast delivery. If you’re ready for something new, you can also get great deals on upcoming sports card releases. Lock in your next sports card boxes with Giant Sports Cards today.