- Associated Press - Saturday, November 6, 2010

DALLAS (AP) - A 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic gold medal has been sold at public auction for nearly $311,000.

The medal belonged to Mark Wells, then a 21-year-old center for the U.S. hockey team. He sold the medal this year to a private collector, who consigned it to Heritage Auctions of Dallas.

Heritage said Saturday that the winning bid during Friday’s auction was three times higher than the pre-sale estimate. Heritage president Greg Rohan said the winning bidder was a rancher from the western U.S.

Sixteen collectors made bids online or by phone. The winning bid was $310,700.

The Americans’ medal-round defeat of the overwhelming favorite Soviet Union at Lake Placid is commonly called the “Miracle on Ice.” The U.S. went on to defeat Finland for the gold.