After what must have been countless hours of practice, Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski saw it all pay off when he won a silver medal in mid-August at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic games. But the 33-year-old didn't hold onto his award for long, opting to sell it instead of letting it collect dust in a trophy case.
It was for good reason. He sold it to raise money for a three-year-old boy fighting cancer. The 33-year-old announced last week he'd auction off the medal after he received a letter from the mother of a boy named Olek who had battled eye cancer for two years. According to a Facebook post by Malachowski, the boy was left with an expensive treatment in New York as his only hope.
"In Rio I fought for the gold," Malachowski wrote last week on Facebook, via the Huffington Post. "Today I appeal to everyone ― let’s fight together about something that is even more precious: the health of this fantastic boy."
An organization helping Malachowski said $126,000 was needed to cover the cost of treatment in New York, according to Sports Illustrated. The discus thrower promised all of the funds he raised would go toward helping Olek.
"If you help me, my silver medal may turn out to be more precious than gold for Olek," Malachowski wrote.
The group helping Malachowski, called Siepomaga, had apparently already raised about one-third of the money needed for the treatment available at the clinic of ophthalmic oncologist David Abramson, according to Reuters. After the intial post, Malachowski later wrote on Facebook, "success," saying the medal had found buyers, via Agence France-Presse.
Olek reportedly secured enough funding to get the treatment that could save his eye. "We were able to show that together we can do wonders," Malachowski told the BBC. "It is our great shared success."
He also won the silver eight years ago in the Beijing games, but this one was apparently means mroe. "My silver medal is worth a lot more than a week ago," Malachowski told the BBC. "It is worth the health of little Olek."