Polish Olympic javelin thrower auctions her silver medal to help sick infant, gets to keep medal

Zabka, a convenience-store chain in Poland, bid the equivalent of $51,000 and said it would pay that amount but that Maria Andrejczyk could keep her medal.

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Silver medalist Maria Andrejczyk during the medal ceremony for the women’s javelin throw at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo Aug. 7.

Silver medalist Maria Andrejczyk during the medal ceremony for the women’s javelin throw at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo Aug. 7.

Martin Meissner / AP

An Olympic athlete from Poland auctioned her silver medal from this summer’s Tokyo Games to raise money for a life-saving operation for an infant — and then was told by the buyer that she could keep her prize.

Maria Andrejczyk, a 25-year-old javelin thrower who overcame bone cancer and a shoulder injury to compete at this year’s Olympics, said she decided to auction her medal to help the boy knowing how much she had to “fight against adversity and pain.”

The money is for Milosz Malysa, an infant with a heart defect whose family has been raising funds for him to be operated on in the United States. Milosz’s parents had posted that the boy was at risk of dying soon without the surgery.

Zabka, a convenience-store chain in Poland, bid the equivalent of $51,000 and said it would pay that amount but that Andrejczyk athlete could hold onto her medal and not have to give it up.

“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian,” a written statement from Zabka’s operators said.

Fans have contributed an additional $76,500 to help the boy.

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