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2010 Winter Olympic champion sells gold medal

Vancouver Medal Ceremony - Day 15

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 26: Alexei Grishin of Belarus celebrates winning the gold medal during the medal ceremony for the mens freestyle skiing aerials on day 15 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 26, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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Aerials skier Aleksei Grishin, the first Belarusian to win a Winter Olympic title, consigned both his Vancouver 2010 gold medal and Salt Lake City 2002 bronze medal to be sold, according to the auction company listing the items.

The medals are listed here and here. Grishin later said he’s selling them to pay for a friend’s medical treatment, according to Belarusian media.

Grishin, now 40, overtook American Jeret “Speedy” Peterson and his Hurricane jump for gold at the Vancouver Winter Games. Peterson committed suicide 16 months later after struggles with alcohol and depression and previous suicide attempts.

Grishin was put on a stamp, given 16,000 square feet to build a home and was Belarus’ flag bearer at the next Olympic Opening Ceremony. Between Vancouver and Sochi, Grishin’s medal was displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Belarusian Statehood in Minsk.

“It had been placed in temporary custody and now, according to the contract, Aleksei got it back,” a museum staffer emailed Wednesday when asked if the museum knew that the medal was being sold. “And, of course, he’s aware of the situation.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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