ISTANBUL, Turkey – Ryan Lochte completed a six-gold dominance of the world short course championships on Sunday, December 16 before revealing that a childhood snub by a sporting legend inspires him to give away all of his medals.
The 28-year-old New Yorker clinched his fifth and sixth gold medals of the week in Istanbul when he won the 100m medley and anchored the USA’s 4x100m medley relay team to victory.
His career short course total now stands at 30 medals, including 20 gold.
The American’s prowess in the pool in Turkey was matched by his generosity out of the water after he revealed he gives all of his medals away.
“I remember when I was a kid I was looking up to this superstar, an Olympian. I’m not going to mention his name, but I asked him for an autograph and he said no,” said Lochte.
“I was eight years old and I was crushed. He wasn’t even concentrating or preparing, he was just in an elevator.
“I went back to the hotel room and my parents asked me, ‘So? Did you get the autograph?’. I told him he said no and I remember telling my parents that if one day I ever get there in the same position, I’ll do it.” – Agence France-Presse