— Published 19 August 2021

A medal to save a life

Maria Andrejczyk

A beautiful story. Silver medallist in women’s javelin throw at the Tokyo Games, Poland’s Maria Andrejczyk decided to auction her Olympic medal. An unusual move, especially less than two weeks after the competition. But the young woman explained it in an interview on Polish television: the money raised is to help finance the operation of an eight-month-old baby, Miloszek Małysa, who has a serious heart malformation. His parents hope to have him operated in the United States, but they do not have the money for the trip and the surgery. “A medal is just an object, but it can be of great value to others,” said Maria Andrejczyk. “This money can save lives, instead of gathering dust in a wardrobe”. The initiative was already unique, the result was even more so. A Polish convenience store chain won the auction, for about €106,000. It then announced that it would not receive the medal, believing that the athlete’s gesture was “beautiful and noble” and that she more than deserved to keep it. At the same time, hundreds of people collected money. Thanks to their generosity, and the €106,000 donation, the necessary amount was almost reached.