Olympian auctions silver medal to pay for boy's surgery

A Polish javelin thrower who won a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics auctioned it off for $125,000 to help an eight-month-old boy receive heart surgery.

Maria Andrejczyk wrote last week on Facebook that she would auction off her medal after learning of a Polish infant named Miłoszek Małysa who had a heart defect and needed surgery, ESPN reported.

Andrejczyk said on Monday in an Instagram post that supermarket chain Żabka had won the auction, ESPN noted. As a kind gesture, the chain subsequently asked Andrejczyk to keep the medal anyway. 

The surgery will allow the infant to get surgery from Stanford University Medical Center. 

Andrejczyk has overcome her own medical hurdles. A year after she missed the chance to win a medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, she had to receive surgery for a shoulder injury in 2017, USA Today reported. In 2018, she was diagnosed with bone cancer.

"The true value of a medal always remains in the heart," the Polish athlete reportedly said. “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."