Olympic winning athletes are incredible people. They need such dedication to their sport that it is all they think about. They must think about it every waking moment. To win an Olympic medal is the highlight of their being, it is everything. That is why when Piotr Malachowski won a silver medal and decided to auction it off to help a young boy afford surgery it was recognized as more than a simple act of charity. This man gave everything he worked for away to help this little boy.
You might argue it is just a medal but to an athlete, an Olympic medal is the recognition that you have reached the pinnacle of your sport. It is something to keep in your family forever, to hand on from generation to generation with pride. For Malachowski, none of that mattered.
While winning silver was an incredible achievement, Piotr had the heart and kindness to see he could use the opportunity for something more. He was contacted by the mother of a young boy. Her child had a rare form of eye cancer that was expensive and difficult to treat. Piotr immediately knew what he had to do.
As Piotr said on his Facebook post explaining the auction, while the medal was worth a lot to him, it would be worth so much more if it could save a child’s eye. It only took a few days for him to raise the funds from the medal. He donated the money to help the child.
While we hold so many athletes on pedestals for their incredible achievements we sometimes don’t celebrate the real heroes in life. Piotr Malachowski is a hero in more ways than most. His dedication, training, and ability is an inspiration to all but his kindness and humanity are a lesson to the world.