Olympian auctions off silver medal for £90k to fund life-saving surgery for baby

An eight-month-old baby will be able to get the life-saving surgery he needs thanks to the selfless act of an Olympic medallist.

Maria Andrejczyk won silver at Tokyo 2020 in the javelin, sandwiched between winner Liu Shiying of China and Kelsey-Lee Barber, who took the bronze medal back to Australia.

While most athletes would understandably want to keep their Olympic medal as a prized possession, the Polish thrower had something more impactful in mind for her latest memento.

She announced almost immediately after the Games that she would be selling the medal for a good cause, and decided to use it to fund life-saving surgery for a baby boy from her homeland.

Miloszek Malysa has a serious heart defect which requires surgery to correct, but his family needs to raise around £280,000 before the eight-month-old is able to go under the knife.

Andrejczyk said on social media: "[Miloszek] 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.

"And in this way, I also want to help. It's for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal."

The bidding was won by Polish supermarket chain Zabka, which stumped up around £90,000 for the prize.

But the Olympian was not to be deprived of her medal for long, as the supermarket returned the medal to her so Miloszek's family could get the much-needed cash and Andrejczyk could keep the reward for her success in Tokyo.

She said the money raised will help the family to secure cardiac catheterization and partial abnormal vein repair surgery for their little boy at the Stanford University Medical Centre, near San Francisco.

Total donations to the collection page now stand at £265,000, with just £15,000 more needed for the family to pay for Miloszek's treatment.

Andrejczyk is no stranger to medical treatments – after missing the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

Chemotherapy was not required, but she needed to have another surgery.

She wasn't throwing pain-free again until April 2019, but since then has worked hard enough to improved on her agonising fourth-placed finish at the Rio Games in 2016 and take silver in Tokyo.

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