As you know by now, I love the Olympics. I love them so much I even skipped last night's Truck race...from Bristol...to watch Olympics. THAT is how much I love them.
I knew that I would not be buying a box of the current year's Olympic card set, until it got cheaper. I paid full price for the 2014 Sochi set, and now the hobby box is on sale for $20. Had I waited, I could have gotten three boxes!
But I like to open Olympic cards during the Olympics.
So what to do?
Well...back when I ordered the Sochi box, in 2014, I also ordered a box of 1991 Impel US Olympic Hall of Fame.
I got it in February 2014. And I didn't open it. For TWO AND A HALF YEARS! That is an amazing display of will power on my behalf. I've gotten better, but I used to have my cards open before leaving the parking lot of the card shop on a regular basis. I once did a box of 2010 Legends in 3 minutes or so, however long it took my mom to pick up a prescription, and nothing more.
So to keep this factory sealed for so long...I'm amazed I did it.
I cracked the seal during the first day of competition, August 6th. I opened a pack a day. I figured, this is a huge box, so hopefully it will be a huge set right? Nope. It's only 90 cards. The goal was to get me through the entire Olympics and finish opening the packs left during Closing Ceremonies.
It didn't work out that way, as I completed the set on August 15th, and I'm almost at two complete sets, with 15 cards a pack there's a lot of duplicates.
I still have half the box, perhaps a few packs more than half, unopened. There are no inserts to chase- not a single one- so I don't plan to open them. It is now only the second set where I ran out of cards to look for before I ran out of packs.
In the end, I'm a little disappointed with the set. Sure, it's 90 cards, but cards #52 to 72 focus on only two teams, multiple cards of the same players. (They are the 1964 basketball team and the 1980 Hockey team- the Miracle on Ice team). While they are the only cards printed to commemorate those teams, (I think, definitely with basketball) with a long history of Olympics I feel they could have given cards to more athletes...or made the set bigger. 90 cards is never enough for any sport, let alone a set that covers almost 100 years of a sporting event.
The cards themselves are fine. I have only scanned 3, as the entire set is already on the Database, I put aside cards already done there, but I scanned three to have something to post here, no particular reason I chose these three, they just happened to be on top of the stack when I chose to scan.
But it's not my only Olympic cards to open. I bought a "complete" set of 1983 Topps Greatest Olympians, which I am taking a few cards out of the plastic case each day...if I remember. I forgot to do any on the 17th, so I took out 3 extra today. I did sleep through most of the 17th as I have not been feeling too good so I could use that as an excuse, but in reality I didn't pay attention to the time and just plain missed it. (I have been taking out three a day, the Olympics are going to end before I run out, so I may save the rest for the next Winter Olympics in 2018). I really don't like to buy hand collated sets because I have been burned so often on them, but the price was right ($4 for 99 cards) and I didn't have any from the set, so I felt it was worth the risk. Time will tell but I have already found the big names- Muhammad Ali and Jesse Owens- so I have hopes that it will turn out to be complete. I also have one more pack of this year's set I procured at Target, which I will open during Closing Ceremonies, and I still have one pack left of the 2012 London set that I have not decided when to open.
One other bit of trivia- the photo of Bob Beamon in the 1991 set is the exact same one Topps used in the 2016 set. I don't think he should have been in this year's set- it should have been for current athletes- but that's a different topic, which I've talked about before. The thing is, the Topps card is in color, and the Impel card is in black and white...which makes me wonder what other photos may have been in color in the set and they chose not to print that way.
There is one variation in the set that I don't have. Card #40 has the image on the back mirrored, I have only the version where the top of his head points left. I don't think I'll open the rest of the cards to see if I find the other version. I don't really chase variations too often but I'm sure it would be cheap enough if I wanted to add this one.
I still enjoyed it, even if it didn't work out like I planned, but I'm glad I was able to complete the set. And I'm truly amazed I was able to keep a box of a set that I didn't have a single card of sealed for more than 2 years! Water Polo just came on, one of my favorite Olympic events, so I guess it's time to stop typing :)
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