It is difficult to part ways with something that is earned after putting in hard work and dedication. This is applicable even for the athletes who train under extreme circumstances while preparing for the Olympics and dream about winning a medal. However, a Polish javelin thrower has done the unimaginable for a beautiful cause.
Maria Andrejczyk, the Polish track and field athlete, who had clinched silver in the women's javelin throw at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 auctioned her silver medal to raise funds for an infant's life-saving surgery.
The 25-year-old female athlete decided to sell her medal to arrange for emergency funds needed for 8-month-old Miłoszek Małysa, who has a serious heart defect according to a report by The Indian Express.
"It was the first fundraiser I entered and I knew it was the right one," she wrote on her Facebook wall on 11 August in her native language. "The fundraiser was for a young Polish boy who goes by the name of Miloszek. He has a serious heart defect and requires surgery", Maria Andrejczyk wrote.
Explaining her decision, she said, "He already has a head start from Kubus — a boy who didn't make it in time but whose amazing parents decided to pass on the funds they collected. And in this way, I also want to help. It's for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal."
Miloszek's family had started a fundraising page in order to pool resources for the surgery with a goal of raising 1.5 million Polish zloty. While half of the amount was already raised, the athlete decided to give it the much-needed push.
According to ESPN, a Polish supermarket chain won the auction for her Tokyo Games medal with a bid of $125,000. She too confirmed the news on Instagram tagging Żabka, and thanking them. However, the best part is that Żabka has not only joined in on the cause but also decided to return the medal to the Olympian, as they were so 'moved by her extremely noble gesture'. "We also decided that the silver medal 🥈 from Tokyo will stay with Ms. Maria, who showed how Great the Champion is," Polish store chain Żabka Polska wrote on Facebook.
Netizens Shower Praises
People on social media were not only touched by her gesture, they also applauded the store that allowed the Olympian to retain her medal.
Maria Andrejczyk had finished second-best in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 women's javelin throw event with a throw of 64.61 m. The gold was won by China's Liu Shiying for a successful throw of 66.34 meters.