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Greg Louganis to Auction Three Olympic Medals to Benefit HIV/AIDS Group

Greg Louganis to Auction Three Olympic Medals to Benefit HIV/AIDS Group

Greg Louganis to Auction Three Olympic Medals – HIV/AIDS Group to Benefit

The gay diver said each of the medals, and one very special speedo, up for auction has a story to tell.

Gay champion diver Greg Louganis announced he is auctioning three of his five Olympics medals with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Damien Center, an HIV/AIDS service organization.

Louganis explained to Yahoo News the significance of each medal he chose to auction, which could sell for a total of well over $2 million by some estimates.

“Each medal has a story and to be able to share that story, [a story that] can live on beyond me, it can do some good,” Louganis said.

The medals up for auction are the 1976 silver medal for the 10-meter platform dive, the 1984 gold medal for the 3-meter springboard dive, and the 1988 gold medal for the 10-meter platform.

Louganis won the 1976 silver medal when he was only 16 years old, yet said he felt nothing but shame because he did not win the gold. The 1984 gold medal was his first gold medal and the first of two in the games, a feat he repeated in 1988.

He won the 1988 gold medal after hitting the back of his head on the diving board during a dive in the preliminary round. Despite suffering a concussion, he was able to pull out the win on his final dive of both the 1988 Olympics as well as his competitive career.

Louganis competed in the 1988 games after learning early in his training that he was living with HIV. He later revealed his initial thought when he received the news was to go back to California and retire, but he instead fought back to repeat his double gold medal-winning performance. He was taking AZT at the time.

Estimates vary for the value of the medals, which failed to sell at auction last year. Current top values for the medals are $300,000 for the 1976 silver medal, $900,000 for the 1984 gold medal, and $1.2 million for the 1988 gold medal.

In addition to the medals, Louganis will also auction the speedo he wore in 1976 when he won the silver medal.

The auction will be handled by Bonhams’ auction house in Los Angeles, and will take place September 14 at the Marguerite Aquatics Complex where Louganis first started training when it was known as the Mission Viejo Swim Club.

Louganis revealed his HIV status and discussed his sexual identity in the 1995 book Breaking the Surface. He has since become a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and those living the HIV.

He told Chicago ABC affiliate WLS-TV that part of the proceeds will help the Damian Center provide for those living with HIV.

“It’s kind of a one-stop shop for people living with HIV/AIDS as far as services,” Louganis told WLS-TV. “There’s mental health, there’s dentistry, there’s health care. My goal is to raise enough money to where I can name the welcome center after Ryan White. That’s my goal.”

He also said he hopes to name the welcome lounge after his mother, Francis Louganis.

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