Polish pole vaulter to auction off silver medal to pay for young boy's heart surgery
[August 17, 2021: Ian Tuckey]
Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk vowed to put her Tokyo 2020 medal to good use after beating bone cancer.
And having taken suggestions from the public, she chose the plight of fellow Pole Miloszek Małysa.
Days after winning a silver medal at the Tokyo Summer Games, the 25-year-old announced on Facebook that her goal was to raise $190,000 for Polish child Miloszek Małysa, 8 months, to go to the United States for life-saving surgery. "Miloszek has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation."
"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.”
Andrejczyk missed out on a Rio 2016 medal by just 2cm. She then sat out the following year with a shoulder injury and was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
But she battled back from both challenges to come second in Japan, and she let all the emotion out on the Tokyo podium.
Andrejczyk explained she will accept offers for her medal through personal messages to her on social media.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart" she told a Polish television station.
“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.”
Andrejczyk‘s personal best of 71.4m is the third-longest ever hurled by a woman in the javelin.
But it‘s her auction gesture that might go further, and live longer, in the memory.
For more international good news stories check out our Global Good section at The Brighter Side of News.
Like these kind of feel good stories? Get the Brighter Side of News' newsletter.