Are Topps US Olympics & Paralympics Team Worth It?

July 20, 2021

The spirit of the Olympic Games seeks to transcend worldly considerations. The Olympics have represented an ideal for sporting excellence – a pure athletic competition where worldliness plays no role in winning or losing. We will look at the main Topps US Olympics & Paralympics Team cards release in preparation for the games.

The Importance Of The Olympic Games

Animals compete in fights. Humans compete for fun in line with laid down rules and fair play guidelines. The Olympics Games, the most famous sporting event, started around 776 BC in ancient Greece. In the modern age, the games are held once every four years.

The Olympics Games have been happening for a long time, and they are always greeted by the immense support of fans worldwide. However, the games this time will be an exception as fans will not attend due to the pandemic.

But guess what!? Trading cards of your favorite athletes can help you feel like part of the games anyway.

Aside from sports, the Olympics have been an arena for crucial social and political developments (get this historical Olympics poster from Amazon).

What Olympics Card Releases There?

Despite being a major international event, the sports card industry has never adequately covered them. Trading cards are a very American-centric format, even if that is starting to change in recent years. Therefore, most releases cover the star team USA athletes and do not cover the rest of the world.

There have been a few Olympic card releases in the past:

  • Topps Greatest Olympians – 1983
  • Impel USA Olympic – 1992
  • Donruss Fans of the Game – Multiple years
  • Upper Deck World of Sports – Multiple years

Until 2012, Upper Deck had an exclusive contract for the release of Olympic cards. But that year, Topps landed the contract for Team USA cards and has held the rights ever since.

Upper Deck has a long history of Olympic card releases (search for Upper Deck Olympic cards on eBay).

The 2021 Topps US Olympics & Paralympics Team Set

The Summer Olympics have been scheduled to start on July 23, after a year’s postponement due to the pandemic crisis that took the world hostage. Instead, the games will be concluded on August 8, and they will return to Tokyo for the second time.

The major release for the imminent Olympics is the 2021 Topps U.S. Olympic Team set. The Olympic Hopeful set features 76 notable athletes aspiring to represent the red, white, and blue Olympics team. Parallels are common in the 2021 Topps US Olympics release, with at least one per pack. The inserts also fall one per pack.

The 2020 Topps US Olympics & Paralympics Team Set is the main release for the Olympics (look for the cards on eBay).

Inserts In The 2020 Topps US Olympics & Paralympics Team Set

Every Hobby box has three hits, and one of them is an auto. 2021 Topps US Olympics checklist offers a Base Autograph set. Base Autographs make up the majority of the collection. This product has a design that is similar to the main product. The autographs come on stickers. There is Silver (/50), U.S. Flag (/25), Gold (/20), and FoilFractor (1/1).

There are Autographs from Olympic Champions. There are different copies for each card, and some have a U.S. Flag, Gold, and FoilFractor version. Team USA Memorabilia is also available, these are patch cards, with pieces of gear worn by the athlete on the card. Event Icon cards don’t have a swatch,  but they have something from the event like a symbol or photo on them instead. Memorial cards with the USOC logo are also in a set, and another card with the U.S. flag and one with a gold medal.

It is worth mentioning that there are new sets of cards. One such is “Pride And Country,” which celebrates your athlete’s hometown for all the hard work they put forward. “New To The Games” is another one, and it covers debuting events that did not previously get recognition.

The Pride & Country insert celebrates the athletes hometown (look for Pride & Country inserts on eBay).

There is a subset of this release called Olympic Heroes. You get imaginative renditions of famous Olympians as comic book superheroes rather than just looking them up online via Google Images. An example of this is gymnast Simone Biles being reimagined as Spider-Girl.

Which Athletes to Look out for in these Releases

It is hard to say which athletes will strike gold and who will flame out in Tokyo. But the following athletes will certainly make waves at the games.

Simone Manuel

Simeone is the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual swimming event. She also won eight titles in the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, becoming the first woman to win seven medals in a single championship as a two-time Olympic gold medal winner. She is projected to win six gold medals in Tokyo.

Simone Biles

Bilesneeds no introduction. Her cards are already doing great in values and numbers. With 30 medals in both the Olympic and World Championship medals, she is the most decorated American gymnast. She is only two medals shy of Russian Latyinin and three from Vitaly to equal the all-time record. The gravity-defying gymnast could break the Vitaly record by winning five more gold medals in Tokyo. On April 25, 2021, 2014, Sports Illustrated For Kids Simone Biles ROOKIE RC #292 PSA 9 MINT sold for $1800.

Simone Biles rookie cards fetch strong prices (look for her rookie cards on eBay).

Nyjah Huston

There are two things you need to understand about this skateboarder – he is a top-class skateboarder, and he has millions of followers. He also appeared in Ballers, which made him even more famous. Given his popularity in relation to the small population of cards like this one, buying the cards is a worthy investment, and it could be a big idea. If the skateboarder keeps up his momentum and competes in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020, his cards could surge.


Boudia complements his love for diving with commitment and constant practice. It is, thus, no wonder that he won the gold medal in 2012. In 2018, however, he had a problem when he crashed into the water while doing his dive. So, he pivoted to the three-meter springboard even though people said it was too dangerous for him because of his concussion. Now, he is just a medal away from equaling Greg Louganis’s record for the most medals in diving for the U.S. He is determined to make history at Tokyo 2020. Hence, you don’t want to miss out on his cards. You can buy Boudia’s cards on eBay for under $10, including some autos or patches.

Older Olympic Cards Worth Pursuing

There are numerous Old Olympic cards worth collecting. Jesse Owens sold on eBay for $380,000. Jim Thorpe 1955 Topps ALL AMER MINT 9 recent price is $11,000. There are other cards: Micheal Phelps 2012 and 2014 Rookie and star football fans are Phelps’ best cards worth looking at. You might also want to check Usain Bolt rookie cards.

Because of their historic importance, Jesse Owens cards are the Olympic grail cards (look for Jesse Owens cards on eBay).

The Bottomline On Topps US Olympics & Paralympics Team

The Olympics are a massive global competition. The American athletes who strike it big can become legends. If you can invest in the right athlete before they strike gold, good money is to be made. So invest wisely and cross your fingers for your investment, and country, of course.

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