Olympic champion Ryan Lochte has decided to auction off half of the 12 medals he has earned to a kids’ charity.
The 37-year-old swimmer won the 12 total medals across 4 Olympics, 6 of them being old which he currently intends to keep. He also decided to auction an Olympic ring and Breitling watch he purchased for himself back in 2012 during the London Games.
ESPN reported that the medals will be up for auction until July 21, where the Jorge Nation Foundation will receive the revenues. The Jorge Nation Foundation is a nonprofit organization that “raises money to send children with terminal illnesses and their families on a dream journey from South Florida to a destination of their choice.”
Lochte told The Associated Press over the phone, “I’m not one to be all sentimental about medals,” he said. “My medals are just sitting in my closet collecting dust. The memories that I have is what means the most.”
The medals are being sold through the Boston-based RR Auction, and are believed to be worth at least $82,000 total.
RR Auction executive vice president Bobby Livingston said, “They’re in perfect condition. They have beautiful ribbons,” noting that the medals were cosigned by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. “Ryan’s are obviously extremely interesting to people who collect medals.”
“This year I really wanted to focus on giving back. I’m loving it,” Lochte said. “I’ve been teaming with my dad doing swim clinics and I’m coming out with my own sunscreen.”
Lochte has left off the Olympic team for Tokyo 2020. He is also considering giving away his gold metals at some point in the future.
“Those medals mean a lot to me; I worked my rear off for them, but helping other people out is more important to me, especially because I have kids of my own,” Lochte said.
Lochte’s 12 Olympic medals are tied for second-most among swimmers, behind Michael Phelps’ record of 28.
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