Andrew Makedonski / Shutterstock.com
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The greatest pride any athlete can have is to win an Olympic medal. It is recognition of a lifetime of hard work and shows that you were once an incredible athlete at the top of your field across the entire world in one of the most competitive sports in the world. To many athletes, there is no greater joy than winning an Olympic medal and when asked what it is worth to them, the answer is always the same; priceless. There is one person who would not agree though. He would quite simply say that his medal is worth $84,000 as that is how much he sold it for.

The athlete in question is Piotr Malachowski an elite discus thrower from Poland who recently sold his medal for $84,000.
Before you start to think anything negative about Piotr and his love of the sport or his respect toward the Olympic medal you should listen to his story. Piotr was not on the brink of poverty selling his medal to survive, although that too would be understandable. Instead, he did it to save someone else’s life.

Olek Szymanski was three years old when the auction took place. He had cancer in his eye and it was certain to take his eyesight and possibly more than that. Piotr did an incredibly noble thing and agreed to auction off his silver medal for this Polish child so that he had could afford the surgery to get rid of the cancer. The surgery was set to cost $126,000 but one-third was luckily raised by a Polish charitable foundation. The remaining $84,000 would be difficult.

Piotr’s auction immediately got traction and within a few days, the price had reached $19,000. It was still a long way from $84,000 but any amount would help. Then a day later the medal was no longer for sale and the auction was stopped. A charitable private seller had agreed to give the $84,000 for the medal to help save the boy’s life.

Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk were the charitable donors. They agreed to pay the entire sum and the surgery was now fully funded. The Kulcyzk pair are brother and sister. Their fortune comes from their father Jan Kulczyk who was the richest Pole before he died and the 418th richest person in the world. He made his money from telecommunications, oil, and insurance.

The kindness shown by Dominika and Sebastian was likely a drop in the ocean compared to their considerable wealth of billions. Yet it is this compassion that shows what can be done when people try. If Piotr had never been willing to sell his medal, the billionaires may never have heard Olek’s story. Thanks to Piotr, Dominika, and Sebastian, Olek was saved.

Piotr was willing to give up his most prized possession to help someone in need. This is an incredible example to set for everyone who has heard about this story or is reading this article today. While you may not have a priceless medal to auction off and may not be in a financial position to donate to others, there is always something you can do. Whether you can donate time, food, or knowledge to those who need it is up to you. What is clear is that we are all better off when we work together. Altruism is a beautiful thing because it doesn’t really exist. There is no such thing as altruism because every good deed that you do is good for the entire human race and you as a result. Piotr proved that his medal was worth a boy’s life.