Just after his recent Olympic silver medal win at Rio, Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski sold his silver medal to give a three-year-old boy the gift of life-saving cancer treatment.
To help little Poland-based Olek Szymanski afford his cancer treatment, Malachowski put his medal up for auction. Because of Malachowski, young Olek can now travel to New York City to be treated for a rare form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma. It was a decision that Malachowski has no regrets about:
“My silver medal is worth a lot more than a week ago. It is worth the health of little Olek.”
The two-time Olympic winner had put his medal up for auction at first hoping to raise $84,000. On his Facebook page, Malachowski called on his friends, colleagues and family to help him auction off his medal. He wrote:
“In Rio I fought for gold. Today I call on all people — let us fight together for something that is even more valuable. For the health of this fantastic boy.”
It wasn’t long before Malachowski pulled the auction down, even though it had only raised $19,000 at the time of closing. Over Facebook, he announced that he’d closed the auction three days early because billionaires Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk “declared their willingness to buy my silver medal for an amount which enables us to meet the goal set.” Olek’s treatment carried the hefty price tag of $126,000, and thanks to Malachowski and the Kulczyks, it has all been covered.
❤️❤️❤️❤ Piotr Malachowski
The Polish Olympian sells his silver medal to help a boy battling cancer. pic.twitter.com/q7GqfTslh9
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) August 26, 2016
Malachowski gave up one of his greatest accomplishments – his silver medal – to help a child in need. As the post-Olympics news has been dominated by the shameful actions of swimmer Ryan Lochte, it’s amazing to see Olympians like Malachowski show everyone what true selflessness and kindness looks like. We look forward to hearing how little Olek heals and progresses through treatment.
Featured image via Quinn Rooney / Getty Images