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Why an Australian Olympian is reluctantly selling his 1996 Olympic gold medal

Dual Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond says he’s “very upset”, but he must sell his 1996 Olympic gold medal.

The trap shooter became a big name after winning gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The 47-year-old Olympian sold his 2000 gold medal for $72,000 in 2017, and is now auctioning his remaining medal due to serious health issues and outstanding legal fees.

“It’s just something that has to happen,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Mr Diamond’s heart failed in October, leaving him hospitalised. His heart function has improved from 15 per cent to 25 per cent, but he still has a long road to recovery.

Meanwhile, he is unable to work.

“If it doesn’t improve then we’re looking down the barrel of a heart transplant prior to the heart failing,” he said.

The Olympian said he’s very sad about the sale of his medal, but the memories of his win remain.

“It’s something that I didn’t really want to ever do,” he said.

“Fingers crossed I can get both of these medals back in the foreseeable future.”

Mr Diamond’s medal was up for auction at 2pm today at Leonard Joel in South Yarra, where it fetched $50,000.

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Image: Craig Prentis / Stringer