Polish Olympian Maria Andrejczyk won a silver medal in women’s javelin at the Tokyo Olympics, but she’s proved she has a heart of gold after using her platform to help a child in need.
The 25-year-old athlete announced on Aug. 11 that she would be raising money for Miłoszek Małysa, an 8-month-old Polish boy who desperately needs expensive heart surgery in the U.S.
And the way she planned to do that was by auctioning off her medal to the highest bidder.
“Miłoszek … has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation,” Andrejczyk wrote on Facebook. “It’s for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal.”
The boy’s family had already raised about half the necessary amount to pay for the procedure and travel costs, which came to $385,000, according to Fox News.
Andrejczyk’s decision to auction off her medal wasn’t a difficult one, as she had her sights set on what truly mattered.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart,” Andrejczyk said, according to The Times of London. “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.”
But she wasn’t the only one with a generous heart.
After all was said and done, the medal was sold to a company called Żabka — but Andrejczyk’s post and Miloszek’s plight had received so much attention that the family had received many additional donations.
“On Friday I received this wonderful information, and due to the fact that you dears have already done wonders and joint forces have paid more than the equivalent of the initial medal to the [Miloszek] account — I decided to end the auction so that our [Miloszek] will receive the whole amount as soon as possible and can fly to the USA,” Andrejczyk wrote in an update.
“The winner, and at the same time, the company I will be eternally grateful to is the company Żabka.”
But the company had decided to donate money for the surgery and let Andrejczyk keep her hard-earned medal.
“We were moved by the beautiful and noble gesture of our Olympian, so we decided to support the collection of funds for the sick Miloszek,” Żabka wrote on Facebook.
“We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will remain with Ms. Maria, who showed how great she is.”