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Most decorated Olympic basketball player sells gold medal

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Teresa Edwards, the most decorated Olympic basketball player in history with five medals (four gold), is selling one of those medals.

Edwards’ collection with auction house Lelands includes not only her first Olympic gold medal from 1984, but also game-worn Olympic jerseys and her Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame jacket and ring. The same auction block includes 1904 Olympic golf gold and silver medals.

Edwards’ Olympic gold medal auction had a starting bid of $15,000 and is up to $29,231 with 17 days left.

Much of Edwards’ memorabilia from her 16-year international career, including all of her Olympic medals, have been displayed at the University of Georgia, her alma mater, for 10 to 20 years.

Edwards is selling her first Olympic gold medal to “test the market” for such a piece of women’s sports memorabilia before deciding whether to sell the other medals.

She said a six-figure sum for the 1984 medal would be successful. In 2014, former NBA All-Star Vin Baker‘s gold medal from the 2000 Sydney Games sold for $67,000.

Edwards said her longtime U.S. teammate, Sheryl Swoopes, sold one of her Olympic gold medals (Swoopes’ 1996 gold is listed here as going for $13,000 in 2013).

“To die and leave them [the medals] afloat would be horrible,” said Edwards, who played on five straight Olympic teams from 1984 through 2000 and was Chef de Mission for the U.S. Olympic team in 2012. “To live and have an opportunity to donate them to certain places, that’s good, too.”

For Edwards, a motivation is gender equality.

“I don’t think women truly get a real opportunity to be part of the wealth that men are experiencing with articles of this nature,” she said. “I would love, first and foremost, to see women have a market to have the same options and opportunity to be a part of that auction world, to be a part of the greatness that goes with the Babe Ruth products and the Muhammad Ali products and the [Michael] Jordans. I just feel like women have a market. We have the Jackie Joyners [Kersee], we have the Billie Jeans [King], we have the [Martina] Navratilovas.”

A pair of Jordan’s shoes from the 1984 Olympics was auctioned Sunday morning for $190,000.

“If someone bought my medal for that kind of money, I think it would just open up a whole new window, an opportunity for women in sports and their history,” Edwards said. “Our stories haven’t been told yet.”

In 1984, Edwards made the Olympic team as its youngest player following her sophomore year at Georgia. Under coach Pat Summitt, the U.S. earned its first Olympic women’s basketball title in the event’s third time on the Olympic program.

Summitt, while a 24-year-old coach at Tennessee, was the oldest member of the first U.S. Olympic women’s team in 1976, which lost to the Soviet Union in the final.

What would the late Summitt, who didn’t win an Olympic gold medal herself, think of Edwards’ decision to sell one of hers?

“Deeply, I would think she would think the same thing I’m thinking,” Edwards said. “It’s my journey.”

The 1904 Olympic golf gold and silver medals being sold were won by American Chandler Egan in the team and individual events, respectively. The 1904 St. Louis Games marked the last time golf was played at the Olympics until Rio 2016.

It was reported last year that Egan’s medals were found in a bookcase in the former home of Egan’s daughter in Northeast Ohio.

The medals were displayed at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., and the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J., before Egan’s grandchildren chose to sell it this year.

Egan’s grandson Morris Everett Jr. said the original plan was to have his heirs sell it years down the road. But the timing of golf’s return to the Games, plus seeing another 1904 Olympic golf gold medal sell for $272,000, proved too large a lure.

Everett said he and his brother and sister turned down an offer for $325,000 for both of Egan’s medals and chose in April to auction them on Lelands.

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Alysia Montano races pregnant again at USATF Outdoor Championships

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U.S. Olympic 800m runner Alysia Montaño raced four months pregnant in 110-degree heat at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday.

Montaño, who raced eight months pregnant at the 2014 USATF Outdoors also in Sacramento, finished last in her 800m first-round heat in 2:21.40. She was 10 seconds faster than her time three years ago.

In a Wonder Woman top, she gritted her teeth on the final straightaway and raised her arms crossing the finish line.

“[In 2014] women let me know that my journey and my story had inspired them in so many different ways,” Montaño told media in Sacramento, standing next to 2-year-old daughter Linnea. “I think there’s something about coming out to any venue, not really expecting to win, but just going along with the journey and seeing what comes out of it. And that’s the most beautiful part for me, being a track and field athlete, the platform that I have, I feel so responsible to be a representative for people who don’t have the same platform, don’t have the same voice that I do.

“I represent so many different people. I represent women. I represent black women. I represent pregnant women. … I think it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m a voice and advocate for them.”

Athletes are looking for top-three finishes to qualify for the world championships in London in August. Finals are later this weekend.

In the men’s 800m, two-time Olympian and 2013 World silver medalist Nick Symmonds was eliminated, 32nd-fastest of 33 runners in the first round.

Symmonds, in his final season, said he has one more race left — the Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 10.

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Lilly King to be less vocal on Yuliya Efimova topic this summer

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Expect to see Lilly King and Yuliya Efimova resume their breaststroke rivalry at the world championships next month.

It will look very different than in Rio, when King became a vocal opponent of doping and directed some of her words at the formerly suspended Russian Efimova.

“This summer, I’m not going to talk about everything that happened last summer,” King said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “I spoke my piece. I’ve said everything I need to say.”

Her focus needs to stay in the pool, where she must finish first or second at the USA Swimming National Championships next week to make it to worlds (broadcast schedule here).

King said in May her goal is to break world records at worlds in Budapest in July.

She may need to in order to defeat Efimova like in Rio.

Efimova has the fastest 100m breast time in the world this year, a 1:04.82 set on Sunday. The national record put her No. 3 on the all-time list (and .09 faster than King’s winning time in Rio).

King is in third place this year at 1:06.20, though she spent all winter focusing on NCAA competition in 25-yard pools.

In Rio, King said Efimova shouldn’t have been allowed to compete given her doping history.

Efimova served a 16-month ban for testing positive for the banned steroid DHEA in 2013. She again tested positive in February 2016 for meldonium, though she said she stopped taking it before it became a banned substance Jan. 1, 2016, and was absolved along with other athletes.

King memorably finger-wagged at an image of Efimova on a TV in the ready room before her 100m breast semifinal and relegated the Russian to silver the following the night.

“You’ve been caught for drug cheating, I’m just not a fan,” King memorably said in Rio, adding last November, “[Doping] was on all of our minds. We had team meetings talking about what it was going to be like. We were going to be racing dopers, and we all knew it.”

King struggled with her newfound fame after she returned home last summer, sobbing in a winter meeting with her University of Indiana coach, Ray Looze, according to the Indianapolis Star:

It was so hard to do normal activities in her hometown – go to the grocery store or eat at a restaurant – that she considered wearing a wig to disguise herself. Her likeness was on a bingo card at a fall festival, so people purposely looked for her. When in Evansville now, she said, she looks at the ground so no one will recognize her. After an initial wave of attention on IU’s campus, she can walk around without interruption.

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