Following the medal ceremony for the women’s 4×100 medley relay on the last day of the 2022 Short Course World Championships, where the American women won gold in world record fashion, relay anchor Kate Douglass decided to give away her gold medal to an age group swimmer that was volunteering at the meet.
“Honestly these medals are just going to sit in a box in my room, so I figured one of the volunteers would be much more excited about it than me,” Douglass told SwimSwam. “I just felt like I wanted to give them something. They were super excited, and it was really cute.”
The volunteer was 13-year-old Emily Tulloch, who swims for the North-West Aquatic club in Australia and had been helping out all week at short course worlds. North-West Aquatics posted about the medal that Douglass gave Tulloch on their Instagram page, calling it an “incredible souvenir” and saying that they were “forever grateful” for Douglass’ act.
What an incredible souvenir! After a week of helping out at the World Championships, our national swimmer Emily was gifted a Gold Medal from Team USA’s @kaatedouglass. Kate won the gold in the Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay, anchoring the team in a World Record time. What an amazing gift. We are forever grateful @kaatedouglass . 🙏
Winning five golds and two silvers, Douglass was the most decorated athlete at short course worlds. She won two individual golds in the 200 IM and 200 breast and three relay golds in the women’s 4×50 free relay, women’s 4×100 medley relay, and mixed 4×50 medley relay, with the latter two relays being world records. In addition, she also earned silver as a part of of the women’s 4×100 free relay and 4×50 medley relay. Douglass won $44,000 U.S. dollars worth of prize money from short course worlds, which is the fifth-highest amount earned by any athlete at this meet.
Douglass isn’t the only athlete to have given away medals from from major international meets. Two other swimmers who have done the same in the past include Anthony Ervin, who sold his 2000 Olympic gold medal for $17,000 and donated the money to tsunami relief efforts; and Ryan Lochte, who auctioned 6 out of his 12 Olympic medals for charity.