Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk took the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. While he might have come second in the games, what he did next was pure gold.
Less than two weeks after ascending to the winners’ podium, Andrejczyk took an extraordinary leap of generosity by auctioning off his medal to raise funds for Miłoszek Małys, an 8-month-old Polish boy in urgent need of heart surgery.
The athlete had never met Miłoszek or his family. He found out about their struggles through social media. But Andrejczyk, 25, a cancer survivor, knew how important it could be to get medical care on time.
“Miłoszek has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation,” Andrejczyk told him. Facebook page. “He also has the support from above from Kubuś, a boy who did not arrive on time, but wonderful people decided to donate their funds to Miłoszek. And that’s how I want to help too. It is because of him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal ”.
In total, the costs of medical expenses plus the trip from Poland to Stanford University in California, where the operation would take place, were estimated to total 1.5 million Polish zlotys (about $ 385,000).
With half of the sum already raised through online contributions, Andrejczyk hoped his medal would bring the rest. The winning bid not only met but exceeded the original fundraising targets.
“We have the winner!” Andrejczyk posted. “On Friday I received this wonderful information, and due to the fact that you dear ones have already done wonders and the joint forces have paid more than the equivalent of the initial medal to Miłoszek’s account, I decided to end the auction so that our Miłoszek receives the full amount ASAP and I can fly to the US. “
As unfortunate as it may have been to see his medal disappear, Andrejczyk was delighted to learn that the proceeds from its sale went to a worthy cause.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” Andrejczyk said, quoted by The Times of London. “A medal is just an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That’s why I decided to auction it to help sick children. “
But it appears that the winning bidders, Polish convenience store chain Zabka, had their own pretty big plans. In honor of his winning both on and off the Olympic field, the company returned the medal to Andrejczyk.
“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian, we decided to support [the benefit]Zabka posted on Facebook. “We also decided that the Tokyo silver medal will go to Ms. Maria, who showed what it means to be [a true champion]. “
While silver has always been considered a precious metal, in this case, its value in helping save a child’s life is priceless, and that is a victory of Olympic proportions for all.
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