The singlet Peter Snell wore for his 800m/1500m double at the 1964 Olympics was recently auctioned for a cool 122,500 NZD ($85,000 US). Here are ten other iconic athletic artefacts worthy of the auctioneer’s hammer.

1. Michael Johnson’s spikes

The American sprint legend lived up to his billing as The Man with the Golden Shoes to blast to the 200m and 400m double at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Running in the custom-made Nike spikes – which weighed as little as three ounces according to some sources – Johnson lit up the Atlanta track with a blistering world record 19.32.

“Opting for gold shoes could have been considered downright cocky,” Johnson said. “But I was confident and never doubted my ability to deliver gold medals to match my shimmering footwear.”

2. Felix Sanchez’s wristband

Super Dominican Felix Sanchez made a flashing wristband his trademark in his early career. The Dominican got it at the Sydney Olympics to provide extra motivation after he failed to make the final in Australia.

It worked.

Between 2001 and 2004 he won 43 races in a row, including two world titles and the 2004 Olympic crown. Following his triumph in Athens he donated he wristband to an IAAF charity auction, only to suffer a leg injury and fail to finish in his very next race!

Thankfully he didn’t always need the wristband to fly, his powers returning in time to reclaim his Olympic title at London 2012.

Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic donates his Sydney 2000 wristband to the IAAF (Felix Sanchez)

3. Cathy Freeman’s bodysuit

The onesie was not a new thing in athletics – several US athletes had embraced the (apparently) air-resistance reducing look at the 1988 Seoul Olympics – but no athlete before had rocked the bodysuit quite like Cathy Freeman did at Sydney 2000.

Few will forget her iconic 400m run amid a blizzard of camera flashlights in Stadium Australia. The bodysuit may not have caught on, but it was said to have been the inspiration behind the SkinSuit used by astronauts to help reduce bone mass reduction in space.

RE-READ: Does my run look big in this?

4. Joan Benoit Samuelson’s hat

Joan Benoit-Samuelson made history when she became the first woman in history to win the Olympic marathon at the Los Angeles 1984. Better still, she did so with what can best be described as a white painter’s hat on her head.

Bursting audaciously to the front at just three miles, the US distance running legend took off and completed her iconic victory in 2:24:52. She waved the hat to the delirious crowd inside the LA Coliseum for much of the last lap before, er, capping (not sorry) her moment of glory with arms aloft and her crumpled hat stuffed in her right hand. 

Joan Benoit Samuelson ()

5. Javier Sotomayor’s socks

We’ll never know if competing in his trademark long, white socks helped the world’s greatest ever high jumper actually jump higher, but we do dig the Cuban’s look.

During an incredible career Sotomayor won everything – one Olympic and six world titles (two outdoor and four indoor) – and broke the world record three times, his 2.45m still standing as the best ever. He rocked the same look every time.

Safe to say that, aside from being a very fine jumper, the Cuban always found use for his auntie’s otherwise unimaginative birthday gifts.

6. Jan Zelezny’s belt

Bedevilled by back injuries for much of his career, the Czech throwing titan competed for much of his career with a weightlifting-style belt to protect his lower back. It clearly did the trick.

During a belting (still not sorry) career he secured a hat-trick of Olympic titles, three world titles and owns the five longest javelin throws in history including his 20-year-old world record of 98.48m set in Jena.

Jan Zelezny ()

7. Paula Radcliffe’s nasal strip

We could have plumped for the compression socks or identified the titanium necklace which adorned her during significant chunks of Radcliffe’s career, but we’ll instead go for the nasal strip.

Also popular among Premier League footballers during the 1990s, the marathon maestro competed with the nose band to aid breathing. Although sports science is a little undecided as to its actually merits for improved breathing, you can’t argue with the Brit’s marathon world record that still stands.

8. Dayron Robles’ crucifix

For several seasons at the turn of the decade the silky-smooth Cuban ruled the sprint hurdles world, complete with chunky crucifix.

The 2008 Olympic champion and 2010 world indoor 60m hurdles gold medallist is no longer at the very sharp end of the sport, but few could forget the bling which accompanied Robles to his finer moments.

Pole vault lols begin at 1:12

9. Steve Hooker’s headband

Steve Hooker was the pole-vaulting prince of his time, so famous in his native country that in the wake of his 2008 Olympic title Will Ferrell mimicked him on Australian television. But Ferrell got one part of his look wrong: the headband he wore was yellow, not Hooker’s preferred black.

With a curly mane of red hair and thin black headband, the amiable Aussie cut an unmistakable figure inside the Bird’s Nest Stadium. We are not claiming the headband propelled him to gold, but... oh, well, what the hell, we are. Go headbands!

10. Robert Harting’s shirt

It is one thing to put the pristine singlet of Sir Peter Snell up for auction, it would be quite another to put the shredded and mauled shirt of the German discus diamond under the hammer.

Who could forget Harting’s Incredible Hulk-style celebration after securing gold in front of his adoring home fans at the 2009 Berlin World Championships? Certainly not poor Berlino the Bear (remember him!), who Harting tossed over his shoulder in twisted jubilation.