All of Ryan Lochte’s Olympic silver and bronze medals are up for auction, with proceeds going to a children’s benefit charity.
The 37-year-old swimmer has won 12 medals across four Olympics, including six golds he plans to keep for now.
Lochte told The Associated Press Sunday by phone from a vacation in Mexico. “My medals just sit in my closet and collect dust. The memories that I have are what means the most.”
The medals are being sold in backpacks by Boston-based RR Auction. The sale ends on 7/21.
The first batch was Lochte’s first individual Olympic medal, a silver medal in the individual 200 meters from the 2004 Athens Olympics, in which Michael Phelps won gold. It has an estimated value of $10,000 or more.
The second lot was a pair of bronze medals from the 2008 Beijing Games, where Lochte finished third in 200 IM and 400 IM. Estimated to be $12,000 or more.
The third batch featured three medals from the 2012 London Olympics. Lochte finished second in the 200 IM, second in the 4×100 freestyle relay and third in the 200 backstroke. Estimated to be $60,000 or more.
Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction, said the medals were signed by someone who received them from Lochte and wished to remain anonymous.
“They’re in perfect condition. They have beautiful ribbons,” says Livingston. “Ryan is obviously extremely interesting to medal collectors.”
Lochte insists he is not a direct seller.
“I gave them to a third party,” he said. “Everything we make goes straight to charity.”
Also for sale is an Olympic ring in 14 karat white gold and a Breitling watch set with black diamonds. Lochte bought both items for herself after the London Olympics.
His charity of choice is the Jorge Nation Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds to take terminally ill children and their families on a dream trip from South Florida to a destination. that they choose. Lochte said he has been with the fund for more than 10 years. His agent is on its board of directors.
“This year I really want to focus on giving back. I love it,” he said. “I teamed up with my dad to do a swim clinic and I’ll go out with my own sunscreen.”
During his career, Lochte regularly gave his medals from national competitions to the kids in the crowd.
Lochte hasn’t competed at a major meeting since last year’s US Olympic test. He’s not on the team for Tokyo. Last month, he raced in an undersea swim in the Cayman Islands and finished 14th.
“A mile in the ocean is a lot different than in a pool,” he said. “I swear I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”
He is contemplating pouring some of his six gold nuggets in the future. He wants to keep his first personal gold from the year 200 in Beijing and another one for his father, Steve.
“Those medals mean a lot to me; I worked [rear] Lochte said, “but helping others is more important to me, especially since I have children of my own.”
Lochte’s 12 medals rank second among swimmers, just behind Phelps’ Olympic record of 28.