The Canadian Royal Mint, an institution whose products I have frequently recommended, is using the Vancouver Winter Olympics to promote its lustrous wares with great success. Inflation has hit the Olympics big time. Figure skater Dorothy Hamill may be forgiven for feeling shortchanged, because the combined 6 grams of precious metals in her gold medal she won in 1976 is worth only $105 today. Legendary speed skater Bonnie Blair did better at the 1994 Lillehammer games with a gold medal today worth $175. By comparison, snowboarder Sean White struck it rich with his gold medal win last week worth $501 of the glittery stuff. Has gold been a great investment, or what? However, that pales in comparison to the expected $8 million a year in product endorsements the 24 year old carrot top is expected to reap.