Maria Andrejczyk sold her Tokyo Olympics silver medal to help fund the heart surgery of an eight-month-old child.
The Polish javelin thrower, who was treated for bone cancer in 2018, decided to sell the coveted silverware. The decision was taken to benefit a campaign to raise funds for Miloszka, an unwell baby. The proceeds will be sent to Stanford University in the United States for the surgery.
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The Polish store chain Zabka Polska won the auction with a bid of $125,000. The target of the fundraise is 1.5 mn Polish zloty ($385,000) of which 90 percent has already been raised.
“It didn’t take me long to decide, it was the first fundraiser I entered and I knew it was the right one. Miloszek has a serious heart defect and is in need of surgery. He also has support from above from Kubuś, a boy who did not make it on time but whose amazing parents decided to pass on the funds they collected to Miłosz. And in this way, I also want to help. It’s for him that I am auctioning my Olympic Silver medal,” Maria Andrejczyk said on her Instagram account.
However, the auction took an interesting turn after Zabka Polska insisted that Maria Andrejczyk keep the medal.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart. A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children,” The Times quoted Maria Andrejczyk as saying.
Maria Andrejczyk is a survivor herself
The 25-year-old won silver in Tokyo with a throw of 64.61m. Only China’s Liu Shiying did better at 66.34m.
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In 2018, Maria Andrejczyk was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Despite this, she competed in the 2019 European Team Championships Super League and finished second. She also qualified for the 2019 Worlds before being eliminated in the qualifying round.