[Heartwarming] Polish Olympian auctions his medal to save cancer-stricken boy
Piotr Malachowski says his Rio silver for discus throwing would mean more than gold if it could help little Olek.
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The much-touted "Olympic spirit" is one of those intangible, undeniable things which cynics scoff at and advertisers look to sell us more useless things.
But then, idealists, romantics and true athletes still believe in it, with the most recent example being runners Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino. They came for their 5,000m race, they tripped upon each other, helped each other get up, finished last and second last and hugged afterwards.
Sometimes this spirit manifests itself in different ways.
Polish Olympian Piotr Malachowski, for example, won the silver in discus throw at the Rio Olympics but auctioned off his medal this week to fund treatment for a three-year-old boy struggling with cancer.
Piotr auctioned his medal after receiving a letter from the mother of a boy called Olek who had been battling eye cancer for two years and that an expensive treatment in New York was his only hope.
"I fought for gold in Rio. Today, I'm calling on everyone to fight for something even more precious. The health of this fantastic boy," Malachowski wrote on his Facebook page on Friday to announce the auction.
"If you help me, my silver medal may turn out to be more precious than gold for Olek," he said.
"Success," he later wrote, saying the medal had found takers.
"We were able to show that together we can make miracles. This is our big joint success. My silver medal today is worth much more than a week ago."
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." Piotr won silver in the 2008 Beijing games too, but said that this one means a lot more to him.
"My silver medal is worth a lot more than a week ago," Malachowski told the BBC. "It is worth the health of little Olek."