Former Olympic gold medallist Korbut refutes report of destitution


Olga Korbut says a report that she sold three of her Olympic gold and two silver medals at an auction out of destitution is completely false.

Korbut, a gymnast who won a combined four gold medals and two silvers during the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, said she sold them and other memorabilia to share her Games experiences.

"From the very beginning offering my Olympic medals and memorabilia was never about money, it was about sharing my Olympic experiences," Korbut said in a statement.

"I have a great life in Arizona and I could not be happier. I am not in any financial crisis as has been incorrectly reported by some international media outlets."

Heritage Auctions said 32 lots of Korbut's memorabilia were sold for $333,504.

"She wanted to actually control how those medals went out into the world," Elon Werner, director of communications at Heritage Auctions, said in a statement, via USA Today.

Korbut, now 61, won team golds for Russia at the '72 Olympics in Munich and four years later in Montreal.

She won gold in Munich on the balance beam and floor exercise and the silver in the uneven bars.

She was a silver medallist in the balance beam at the Montreal Games.