Maria Andrejczyk auctions Tokyo Olympics medal to fund infant’s operation – Tokyo Olympics star Maria Andrejczyk has auctioned off her silver medal to help an infant in her native Poland get life-saving heart surgery. Andrejczyk finished at the second spot in the women’s javelin throw event after a throw of 64.61 m in the Tokyo Olympics. The silver medal was auctioned off for $125,000 in a bid to aid a fundraiser for an eight-month-old infant.
Maria Andrejczyk’s silver medal was bought by the Polish convenience store Żabka, which won the bid of $125,000 (Rs 1.4 crore). However, in a turn of events, the organisation allowed the javelin thrower to keep the medal and donated the sum to charity. As per reports, the child is now set to undergo surgery at Stanford University. The fundraiser was started by his family to collect 1.5 million Polish zloty (Rs 2.86 crore) for the same.
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Maria Andrejczyk wanted to help a stranger following her Tokyo Olympics heroics and said on her Facebook page this was the first fundraiser she stumbled upon. Speaking of the auction, she wrote on her Facebook wall on August 11 in her native language, “Miloszek has a serious heart defect and he needs an operation urgently. It was the first fundraiser I entered and I knew it was the right one. 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. This is how I want to help too. It is for him that I am auctioning off my Olympic silver medal.”
Maria Andrejczyk is herself a cancer survivor and was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2018. At that time her dream of winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics seemed distant. However, the Polish ace did not require chemotherapy and gradually recovered following surgery. She added, “The true value of a medal always remains in the heart. 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.”