While Olympic soccer has almost always played second fiddle to the World Cup, the quadrennial event has produced its fair share of great teams, players and collectibles.

Although recent Olympic games have been the domain of Under-23 players, and for the period after WWII were confined to "amateur" teams, they were not always that way. In fact one of the sport's greatest--and least known--dynasties performed a medal triple, winning two Olympic Gold medals and the first World Cup Championship.

Little known Uruguay first hit the world soccer scene in 1924, turning into the sensation of what has become known as the Chariots of Fire Olympics in Paris 1924.

Andrade was nicknamed the Black Pearl long before Pelé earned the nickname

The Uruguayans rolled over Yugoslavia 7-0 in the first game of the tournament, behind the playmaking of Jose Leandro Andrade, nicknamed The Black Pearl---Pelé was the second to be given that nickname.

Uruguay went on to beat the USA 3-0 and the Netherlands 2-1 en route to the final, which was witnessed by a packed house of 60,000 at Colombes Stadium. Uruguay then shut out Switzerland 3-0 in the final.

If there was any doubt of Uruguay's prowess, it was all but dispelled as they won a second consecutive gold medal at the the Amsterdam Games in 1928.

While not as spectacular as they had been in Paris, the Uruguayans stopped the U.S. 3-0, Germany 4-1 and Italy 3-2 on the way to a final matchup with Argentina. In the only all-South American Olympic final ever, Uruguay and Argentina played to a 1-1 tie, with Uruguay taking the replay 2-1 three days later.

Only two years later, these two sides met again in the finals of the first World Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay, with the home team prevailing to cap an amazing string of soccer titles.

While some early Olympic soccer memorabilia turns up from time to time both on eBay and at major shows such as Atlantique City, newer items are much easier to find, particularly programs, tickets and especially pins.

Since Olympic pins have become such a huge collectible, organizing committees and sponsors have produced single sport pins, making a variety of soccer pins for each Olympic games.

Programs are a little more difficult to find, since organizers of recent games have opted to replace single-sport programs with one larger, corporate-produced book encompassing the entire Games, which is usually the only one distributed off site through mail order or news agents.