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Image: A twin bedroom and balcony in the Olympic Village built for the London 2012 Olympic Games in Stratford, East London.
Olivia Harris  /  Reuters, file
A bedroom and balcony in the Olympic Village in East London on June 30. The website RemainsOfTheGames.co.uk sells items from the London 2012 Olympic Village residences, including beds, patio chairs, tables and sofas. The "complete superlong extended Olympic" beds, including mattresses, sell for about $235.
By
NBC News
updated 8/13/2012 8:14:09 AM ET 2012-08-13T12:14:09

From the trivial and irrelevant to the inspirational and poignant, everything must go!

As Britain awakes to post-Olympic reality on Monday, sports fans may find solace in the fact that they can buy a piece of the Games on various official auction sites.

Want to buy an implement used in your favorite track and field event?

Sleep where Michael Phelps stretched his 6-foot, 4-inch frame before one of his triumphant races?

Or plug your cable into the power strip used by an Olympic athlete to charge his or her iPad or laptop?

You just may be able to do that.

Subsidizing the cost of the Games
The decision to sell off the items was made by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in an effort to offset the Games' hefty price tag, which ran to about $14 billion in public money. In addition, LOCOG had a smaller budget, just over $3 billion, which was raised through broadcasting rights, ticket sales and merchandising.

LOCOG said in a press release earlier this summer that the official Memorabilia.London2012.com auction's "proceeds will help subsidise the costs of the Torches to Torchbearers (torch relay) and contribute towards the staging of the Games."

Many of the torches offered for sale have been signed by athletes and celebrities.

Slideshow: Olympic torch carries the flame to London 2012 (on this page)

Among the most sought-after items are torches, either whole or in fragments, used to transport the Olympic flame around Britain prior to the Opening Ceremony.

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Sebastian Coe, the chairman of LOCOG, defended the decision to sell the torches.

"I think we've done the best torch relay that I have ever witnessed and the interest is extraordinary," he said in June at the Beyond Sport award in London, according to The Telegraph.

"And yes, we've done some things that have upped the cost a bit in key areas, and this is not a bad way of helping us fund it," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Brazilians party in London as focus shifts to Rio 2016

The official on-line auction also said it would offer big-ticket items like relay batons from the men's 4x 100 track and field final, balls from the beach volleyball competition and tennis balls such as those used in British gold-medalist Andy Murray’s triumph over Swiss ace Roger Federer at Wimbledon, although none of those appeared to be available Monday morning.

"The Games touched people in such a unique way, they really want a piece of that," Jon Curleigh, Director at Vancouver-based Innovative Sports Limited, the sports marketing company operating the auction, told NBC News. He added that "unprecedented numbers" were bidding for these items.

With music and cheekiness, 'happy and glorious' Games close

He said a team of around 80 people was working to ensure the memorabilia was for real.

"We offer an iron-clad guarantee that these items are authentic," Curleigh said.

Curleigh said Innovative Sports guaranteed authenticity through a process that included having workers on the site of the competition, taking the items from officials at venues and placing them in sealed plastic bags, and then transporting them to a secure warehouse.

Slideshow: Olympic Emotional Moments (on this page)

The memorabilia also comes with anti-counterfeiting and tamper-evident features, he said.

Curleigh could not offer revenue projections because of contractual obligations, but said he expected to generate in the "millions and millions of dollars."

He noted that in previous Olympics these items would be dispersed by the various sporting bodies, but this enabled people to take home a piece of the Games.

"There was never a way for the public to access these items previously. They’ve never been available to the public before so there was no way of assessing the value. So an auction was the fairest way to do this," he said.

What has Rio learned from London 2012?

He also noted that the resale of such items was consistent with the London Games' message of sustainability. "This way everything finds a home. These items get a second life," he said.

The London 2012 Olympics ran from July 27 to Aug. 12. The London 2012 Paralympics will be held in the same facilities from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9.

Collectors' items
Some of the products on Memorabilia.London2012.com clearly fall into the category of collectors' items for the sports-obsessed.

Fans can bid for the U.S. flag waved during the Opening Ceremonies; various implements used in track and field events such as a discus, hammer and javelin; judges' scoring sheets from the men's 91-kg. (200-lb,) gold-medal boxing bout; and clothing signed by Olympic athletes.

Video: Race to the Olympic Park: Quickest way is ...? (on this page)

One popular item is a pair of skimpy diving trunks signed by telegenic 18-year-old British diver Tom Daley, who won bronze in the 10-meter platform.

Fans of the spectacular Opening Ceremony can also bid on a hand sickle wielded by a costumed farmer during director Danny Boyle's journey though British history, a "peasant-man's outfit" or the black handbag sported by one of the actresses depicting Mary Poppins.

Other enterprising Games fans offered bottled Olympic "atmosphere" for sale on eBay and other sites.

London 2012: Who were the real winners, losers?

"So you weren't one of the lucky ones, unable to travel to London for whatever reason and soak up the exhilarating atmosphere," Reuters quoted vendor mictoria as saying.

"Well maybe a little bit of that ambiance can come to you," it said.

Still others offered to sell crumpled tissues used to wipe seats at Olympic events and empty bottles from Games events, Reuters reported.

Own Olympic light fixtures and power cables
A separate site, RemainsOfTheGames.co.uk offers fans "a chance to own fixtures, fittings and equipment used by some of the most famous sporting personalities in the world!"

Want to purchase an extension cord with a universal four-socket used by an athlete to charge his or her iPad? Yeah, RemainsOfTheGames.com has that.

remainsofthegames.co.uk
This power strip could be yours for less than $4.

A shower chair? Yes, you too can sit during your shower on the same stool upon which an Olympian once rested. And that for just around $15.

Olympic heroes turn tourists

That site is operated by Australia-based Ramler Furniture, which says it also provided "end-to-end" solutions for other major sporting events including the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the Melbourne, Australia, 2006 Commonwealth Games.

"The vast majority of the products have been used in some ways, in some venue or other, during the Games," Paul Ramler, the U.K. representative of Ramler Furniture, told NBC News.

The post-Games sale was part of Ramler's contract with LOCOG, according to Ramler. In effect, Ramler had rented the items to the Olympic organizers for the Games and now was buying them back for resale to the public.

"The big difference this time is that the sale was marketed before the Games. In the past, it didn't begin until afterward," he said.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: Countdown to Sochi Games begins

Photos: Rio de Janeiro

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  1. A view from the top

    An aerial view of the 'Christ the Redeemer' statue on top of Corcovado mountain on July 27, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Michael Regan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Playing some football

    Men play football on Ipanema Beach ahead of the Preliminary Draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 28, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Michael Regan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Open-air stadium

    A view of Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on May 15, 2013. (Marcelo Sayao / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Refreshed seats

    Workers remove seats as they begin the renovation of the Maracana Stadium ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2010. (Felipe Dana / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Hot temperatures

    Locals and tourists enjoy Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, on July 25, 2012. An unusual 32° C (89.6° F) winter temperature is hitting the city which, according to experts, is due to a warm Amazon mass that prevents the cold front from the south from arriving. (Vanderlei Almeida / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Riding the waves

    A body surfer rides a wave during high tide in Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on May 22, 2012. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Sky high

    A cable car travels to and from Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, on Aug. 18, 2008. The cable car leads to one of Rio's most visited sites, with 800,000 tourists per year. (Bruno Domingos / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Urban dwellings

    Homes crowd the Rocinha shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 22, 2012. (Felipe Dana / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Urban forest

    A man walks with his bicycle through the Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro, on July 29, 2012. The National Park of Tijuca is the world's biggest urban forest at 33 square kilometers (12.7 square miles). (Pilar Olivares / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Walking on the beach

    A fisherman boy walks amid herons in Mage, deep into the Bay of Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 3, 2012. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Future Olympic site

    Aerial picture taken at the "City of Rock" -- which is to be the site of the future Olympic Village when Rio hosts the 2016 Olympic Games -- on the opening day of the music festival Rock in Rio, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 23, 2011. (Vanderlei Almeida / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Across the water

    General view of the Bridge of Knowledge designed by Alexandre Chan at the entrance to the 2016 Olympic city in Rio de Janeiro on March 20, 2012. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Ipanema in the distance

    Birds overfly the Cagarras Islands, five km away from Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 6, 2010. Several species of marine birds in risk of extinction inhabit the islands making them one of the most interesting spots for tourism in Rio de Janeiro. (Vanderlei Almeida / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Life-size art

    A passerby looks at a life-size body sculpture by British artist Antony Gormley, part of the Event Horizon installation, in Candelaria square in Rio de Janeiro's downtown, on August 8, 2012. Gormley's exhibition in the city includes works from Amazonian Field, Critical Mass, Event Horizon and Breathing Room among others. (Antonio Scorza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. An artistic tribute

    Artist Jorge Selaron poses while sitting on the staircase he created, the Escadaria Selarón, located between Lapa and Santa Teresa neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, on July 27, 2010. Selaron began his project, which is a work in progress, in 1990 with some 2,000 tiles collected from over 60 countries. The Chilean-born artist calls the project a tribute to the Brazilian people. (Clarissa Cavalheiro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. New transport

    Cable cars are seen in front of the Penha church after Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff opened the new transportation system in Rio de Janeiro on July 7, 2011. The cable car system in the Alemao slum is part of the effort to crack down on crime and modernize infrastructure as the city prepares to host 2014 World Cup soccer matches and the 2016 Olympic Games. (Sergio Moraes / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Favela on a mountainside

    A "pacified" favela, or squatter settlement, is seen on a forested mountainside in the mist on June 21, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio de Janeiro's authorities have successfully "pacified" a number of formerly crime-ridden favelas in the city although the expansion of favelas due to a housing shortage has contributed to Rio's rainforest destruction. Many are constructed in the mountains and hillsides that surround the city, resulting in deforestation. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Surfing

    Teenagers walk to ride waves at Arpoador Beach on the final day of the Rio + 20 conference on June 22, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Park with a nice view

    A man reads a newspaper at the Quinta da Boa Vista park, on May 9, 2013. (Sergio Moraes / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Majestic sunrise

    Two Urubus fly at sunrise over the "Lagoa" lake of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 29, 2012. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Traditional dance

    People dance the Jongo, an Afro-Brazilian dance where the samba derives some of its roots from, in Rio de Janeiro, on July 28, 2012. The Jongo ritual is a legacy of African slaves who worked in Brazil's coffee plantations in the 19th century and is celebrated as a tradition mostly in slums and former slaves communities. (Ricardo Moraes / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Famous aqueduct

    Rio de Janeiro's Arcos da Lapa square on March 26, 2011. (Ricardo Moraes / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Festive celebrations

    A dancer of Mangueira samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 21, 2012. (Felipe Dana / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. A Rio sunrise

    Sugarloaf Mountain is silhouetted against the early-morning skies as the sun begins to rise in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the host city for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. The Earth summit included high-profile talks among some 130 top leaders from nations around the globe. (Felipe Dana / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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