For sale: Olympic furniture
LONDON — You’re in bed. You reach over to turn out the light, and you are turning off the exact same light Michael Phelps turned off the night before he won the gold that made him the most decorated Olympian ever. That’s the dream, at least.
Meet the reality: Now anyone can own a piece of Olympic history. You just won’t know exactly whose piece it is.
More than 1 million items from the athletes’ village and Olympic Park are on sale right here, right now. , and they’ll be ready for collection right after the Paralympic Games end in September. Night stands? They got ’em. Lamps? Umpire’s chairs? Beanbags? Yes, yes and yes.
Almost all of the bits and pieces that helped make the London Olympics what they are — items from the places where people ate, where they competed, even where they slept — are available for the taking in what is effectively a massive post-Olympics fire sale. In the end, much of what made up the Olympic sites will be dispersed throughout Britain and beyond to anyone who puts down some cash.
‘‘It occurred to me that the general population would want to buy furniture from the London Games,’’ said Paul Levin, who runs sales operations for Ramler Furniture, the company that won the contract to source, then lease furniture to the London Organizing Committee.
On its website, ‘‘Remains of the Games,’’ choices range from the mundane to the abstract to relics from the Olympic Park landscape. There is, for example, a 199 pound ($312) blue-and-pink umpire chair used by crowd control around the Olympic Park. Volunteers perch at the top, megaphone in hand, shouting orders at excited spectators below.
There are also more intimate objects. For example, a nightstand of the type that sits next to every athlete’s bed will cost 19 pounds ($30). If you want one of the bean bags used by relaxing Olympians, that’ll cost 15 pounds ($23.50).
You won’t be told whose room it was in, but Levin calls that ‘‘part of the magic.’’ Everyone has a chance that the piece they purchased was used by a Bolt, a Douglas or a Phelps.