Olympic wrestler’s bankruptcy auction is postponed
This summer, many Atlanta residents watched the London Olympic Games, cheering on their favorite athletes and sharing in their joy or sorrow, depending on the outcome of their event. But while thousands of athletes were competing for the coveted gold medal in London, another was at home simply trying to protect his.
In August, sheriff’s deputies raided the home of Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner, in an effort to locate and seize his gold and bronze medals and, ultimately, auction them off to satisfy some of the debts in his bankruptcy case. Gardner had already put up the medals as collateral for personal loans, which means that they will not be eligible to be auctioned. Gardner’s other Olympic paraphernalia, however, may be up for grabs in the near future.
For the time being, though, Gardner’s belongings are safe from auction. Originally scheduled for Oct. 27, the bankruptcy auction has been postponed in order to determine whether Gardner can keep any of his personal possessions. He reportedly hopes to keep his Olympic rings and other souvenirs of his successful wrestling career, but it is not yet clear whether that will be allowed.
Gardner, 41, made headlines when he defeated Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin to win the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He also won the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Since then, however, Gardner has fallen on difficult financial times. He is accused of owing nearly $3 million to a creditor, but he disputes that allegation, saying that the debt was accumulated through fraud. It remains to be seen how the fraud claim will affect his bankruptcy case and his financial future.
Source: The Republic, “Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner trying to pull treasured possessions off auction block,” Paul Foy, Oct. 21, 2012
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