Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk auctioned off her silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics for $125,000 with the goal of using the funds to help an infant receive a life-saving heart surgery.
Andrejczyk explained Wednesday in a Facebook post that she discovered a fundraiser for 8-month-old Miłoszek Małysa. The boy had a serious heart defect and was in need of surgery but the family was looking to attain financial support.
Andrejczyk promptly auctioned off her silver medal from the javelin competition. Previously, she missed a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics by 2 centimeters. Andrejczyk suffered from a shoulder injury that year that required surgery and forced her to miss 2017 competitions, and she was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2018 – all before making her comeback that led to medaling in Tokyo.
Andrejczyk wrote on her Facebook page in Polish of the situation as translated by ESPN and other outlets: “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.”
Żabka, a Polish supermarket chain, won the auction with a bid of $125,000, Andrejczyk said on Instagram. The money raised will allow the boy to get the necessary surgery at Stanford University Medical Center, she said on Facebook. After winning the auction, Żabka returned the medal to Andrejczyk – making it a donation for the boy and Andrejczyk’s cause.