‘They’re Just Sitting In My Closet’: Olympic Superstar Sells Off Medals For Greatest Cause Of All
Olympic star Ryan Lochte is auctioning off his Olympic medals to raise money for terminally ill kids
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Swimming superstar Ryan Lochte is auctioning off all of his silver and bronze Olympic medals for a kids’ charity, but he’s hanging onto the gold – at least for now.

Lochte, the second-most decorated U.S. swimmer behind Michael Phelps, is putting the hardware under the hammer to raise money for the Jorge Nation Foundation, which sends terminally ill Florida children and their families on a dream trip of their choosing.

“I’m not one to be all sentimental about medals,” Lochte, 37, told The Associated Press by phone Sunday from a Mexican vacation. “My medals are just sitting in my closet collecting dust. The memories that I have is what means the most.”

Lochte earned a dozen medals over four Olympics, including six gold. The six he’s parting with are being sold in three lots by Boston-based RR Auction in a bidding process that ends July 21. They include:

Silver medal for second-place – to Phelps — in 200-meter individual medley from the 2004 Athens Games. Estimated price: $10,000.

Two bronze medals, for the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medleys, in the 2008 Beijing Games. Estimated price: $12,000.

Three medals from the 2012 London Games, including silvers for the 200-meter individual medley and the 4×100-0meter freestyle relay, and a bronze for the 200-meter backstroke. Estimated price: $60,00.

RR Auction Executive Vice President Bobby Livingston said the medals are in pristine shape.

“They’re in perfect condition. They have beautiful ribbons,” Livingston said. “Ryan’s are obviously extremely interesting to people who collect medals.”

Lochte, who throughout his career often gave his medals out to children in the crowd, said he is working with a third party to auction the awards. He is also selling off a 14-karat white gold Olympic ring and a Breitling watch with black diamonds to raise money for the foundation.

“This year I really wanted to focus on giving back. I’m loving it,” he said. “I’ve been teaming with my dad doing swim clinics and I’m coming out with my own sunscreen.”

Lochte, who hasn’t competed at a major meet since last year’s U.S. Olympic trials where he failed to make the team, told The Associated Press he might put at least some of his Olympic gold medals up for auction. He said he would probably keep his first, for the 200-meter race in the Beijing games, and another one for his father.

“Those medals mean a lot to me; I worked my [rear] off for them,” Lochte said, “but helping other people out is more important to me, especially because I have kids of my own.”

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