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'He's earned it': Why Aussie champ gave away gold

Posted: 09-Jul-2019 by PanAm Games 2019

Some dream of winning an international medal all their lives.

Barry Carp just gave one away – and it was gold.

The Aussie masters swim star claimed the top prize in the 100m freestyle on Monday, but when it came time to receive his prize, Carp was nowhere to be seen. In his place, Team Aus General Manager Sam Gamsu took to the podium to pick up the honour  – and cheekily pose for a photo or two.

Carp (L) gave his gold medal to Team Aus GM Sam Gamsu (R)

Incredibly, a short time later, the medal would be Gamsu’s for good.

The events that landed it in his possession are a testament to Carp, and form one of the great tales of Maccabi selflessness.

It appeared at one point the Aussie flagbearer would be unable to even take his spot in the race that yielded the triumph. After leading his nation into Mexico City Arena at the official opening ceremony, Carp had fallen ill with a stomach bug and failed to get any sleep the night before he hit the pool.

He contemplated pulling out of the race, but was inspired to ‘do his part’ by lining up for his first event of the meet. After a strong swim he was a confirmed Pan-Ams champ, but Carp had more important things on the mind – a date that outranked even claiming his gold.

“I was watching my son play basketball which was very important to me!” Carp said.

“As soon as the race finished I literally raced over to the basketball court still in my costume, goggles, cap and picked up the second half of the basketball which was great.”

Carp dives into the pool

Carp’s son Harry is co-captain of the youth boys basketball side in Mexico, and was in action against the host nation as his dad touched the wall ahead of his rivals. Eventually, Gamsu arrived to handthe medal over to its rightful owner – and that’s when this story became even more remarkable.

“Coincidentally Sam [Gamsu] picked up the gold medal for me and I said to Sam afterwards, ‘there’s no one that I think is more deserving of a gold medal’ with the organisation that he’s put in,” Carp said.

“So, I’ve asked him to keep it because I think he deserves it and he’s earned it.”

The swim champion literally gave away his first Pan-Am Games gold medal.

What an incredible gesture.