All of Ryan Lochte’s Olympic silver and bronze medals are up for auction, and he said the money will go to charity.
“I don’t want people to think I didn’t care about the medals,” Lochte said by phone Sunday. “I cherish them, but they’re just sitting in my closet collecting dust.”
RR Auction listed “the Ryan Lochte collection” lots ending on July 21, including his one silver medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics, his two bronze medals from the 2008 Beijing Games and his two silvers and one bronze from London in 2012.
Lochte said the proceeds will go to the Jorge Nation Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) that raises money to send children stricken with a terminal or serious illness on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a destination of their choice. Lochte, whose agent is on the board of directors, said he has partnered with the foundation for more than a decade.
“I feel amazing about [the auction] just because I’m going to be helping kids out,” he said.
Lochte said he will probably auction some of his six Olympic gold medals in the future for either the foundation or another well-meaning cause, such as one for skin cancer. He plans to keep his first individual Olympic gold medal from the 2008 Olympic 200m backstroke.
Lochte’s 12 Olympic medals are tied for the second-most among swimmers with Natalie Coughlin, Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres, all trailing Michael Phelps‘ overall Olympic record 28.
Four of his six silver or bronze medals are from races won by Michael Phelps. That includes his first individual Olympic medal, silver from the 2004 Athens Games 200m individual medley.
Lochte often gave away his medals from domestic meets to children.
“I never kept any medal,” Lochte said, including his 27 world championships medals, which are second all-time behind Phelps. “I’m not the one to keep memorabilia.”
Lochte, 37, has not competed in a top-level swim meet since missing the Tokyo Olympic team. In Sunday’s interview, he said he’s keeping the option open of returning to competition down the line.
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