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"The medals have life beyond me;" Olympic diver Greg Louganis auctioning off medals for HIV/AIDS research

Olympic diver Greg Louganis auctioning medals to raise money for HIV/AIDS
Olympic diver Greg Louganis auctioning medals to raise money for HIV/AIDS 02:39

Greg Louganis, Olympic diver and LGBTQ+ Activist, is set to host an event in Mission Viejo where three of his Olympic medals will be auctioned off in order to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS research and LGBTQ+ organizations.

1987 Pan American Games
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - CIRCA 1987: Diver Greg Louganis of the United States competes in the diving competition at the 1987 Pan American Games circa 1987 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Focus On Sport / Getty Images

The auction will be held at the Marguerite Swim Complex — formerly the Mission Viejo Swim Club — where Louganis honed his skills as a child before going on to be regarded as one of the best divers of all time. 

"The medals have life beyond me," Louganis said on Thursday while speaking with KCAL News. He is set to donate the proceeds of the three medals to a foundation close to his own heart, the Damien Center in Indiana. "To be able to share that with others, you know, to hopefully inspire."

Louganis, an El Cajon native now living in Orange County, will share the extraordinary stories behind his Olympic medals, as well as the immense challenges he faced during the 1980s, competing in the Olympics while living with an HIV-positive status.

The three medals he holds will go up for auction in the fall, including the 1988 Gold Medal, the 1984 Gold Medal, and the 1976 Silver Medal, which he won when he was just 16 years old.

"It took decades before I could hold that medal with any kind of pride," Louganis said of the silver medal he won for the 10-meter platform dive in Montreal, Canada. 

Because of his status, not only as an incredibly successful athlete, but also because of his lifelong activism for the LGBTQ+ community, the medals are expected to fetch anywhere between $200,000 and $1.2 million dollars each. 

Prior to the final sale on September 14, the medals will be on a global tour, making stops in Los Angeles, New York, and London.

Louganis dominated the diving circuit during his career, capturing four Olympic gold medals, five gold medals at the World Championships from 1978 to 1986, and six golds at the Pan American Games. 

The Greg Louganis Olympic Collection will be offered at Bonhams in Los Angeles on September 14. For more information click here.

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