Olympic collector shows off rare memorabilia - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Olympic collector shows off rare memorabilia

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Dr. Robert Kebric Dr. Robert Kebric
Among his vast collection, Kebric owns a 1944 Cortina, Italy pin. Among his vast collection, Kebric owns a 1944 Cortina, Italy pin.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville man, who rarely cracks open his vault of Olympic memorabilia to the public, showed us some of his prized possessions Wednesday.

There's something about those five rings and the integrity of the games that inspires Dr. Robert Kebric, Senior Professor of History at University of Louisville. However, the collection belongs to Kebric and his wife, Judith.

"It's kind of like you're apart of something and then you're preserving something," Kebric said.

A tour through Kebric's collection is like a museum exhibition. Then again, a few artifacts were on display in the Speed Art Museum during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

"Since I'm a historian, I'm more interested in the earlier games," Kebric said.

He said he began collecting items as a child. Among his vast collection, Kebric owns a 1944 Cortina, Italy pin. The 1944 games were canceled during World War II.

Kebric also has several torches on display, including one with Louisville provenance.

"The 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic torch was partially made at Louisville Slugger," he said.

There's a lesson about the past around every corner in his collection of posters. "There's certainly similarities between the Olympics today in Sochi and throughout Germany in 1936. Vladimir Putin is trying to do much like Adolf Hitler was trying to do in Germany at that time - bring worldwide attention to Russia."

Kebric insists his Olympic artifacts won't be for sale anytime soon. "I don't buy this stuff to sell it. I buy it to preserve it and in the future, I may gift the collection to a worthy museum," he said.

For a closer look at Kebric's collection, check out this slideshow.

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