Ervin, then 19, tied for the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2000 Olympics with his best friend, Gary Hall Jr. Ervin was the first African-American to make the U.S. Olympic swim team. He later auctioned that gold medal on eBay for either $17,100 or $17,500, depending on which report you believe. Ervin gave that money to 2004 tsunami relief. After the 2000 Olympics, Ervin raced through the 2003 world championships and then retired. He considered a comeback for the 2008 Olympics, but it never materialized, and he floated away from swimming. Until this year.