Ryan Lochte will never forget getting snubbed by one of his boyhood swimming idols.
Lochte says when he was a kid, he clamored for this unnamed man's autograph only to to be coldly turned down.
And so now Lochte does his best to give back to fans. Lochte has presented his medals to spectators at meets in the past, and he continued the tradition over the weekend at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Istanbul.
After breaking his own world record in the 200-meter individual medley, Lochte presented his gold medal to 9-year-old Arda Cakmak.
"I remember when as a kid I looked up to an Olympian superstar," Lochte said. "I won't mention his name [but] I asked for an autograph and he said 'no'. I told my parents that if I ever get in the same position, I'll do it."
After the event, Lochte tweeted a photo of himself and Arda.
"One of the main reasons for racing is because of my fans, so I always want to give something back," Lochte said. "If I took the medal, it would end up in a sock drawer. If I give it to a fan, they're going to treasure it."
The 28-year-old Lochte was voted "best male swimmer" of the World Championships.
(H/T to Game On!)