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Olympian Auctions Off Silver Medal to Pay for a Child’s Cancer Treatment, Restore Everyone’s Faith in Humanity

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Sports are cool and all, but Olympian Piotr Malachowski is a goddamn hero. Not only did the Polish Olympian bring home a silver medal from Rio, but he immediately put it up for auction to help save a 3-year-old boy’s sight.

According to CBS Sports, Malachowski is a discus thrower, and the discus is one of the most old-school and thus cool sports there is. (Javelin-throwing is also pretty cool.) This year Malachowski won a silver medal at the Olympics, proving he is one of the very best in the world at discus-throwing. An Olympic medal is a big deal, but Malachowski did not rest on his laurels. When he got back to Poland, he put the medal up for auction to help pay for cancer treatments for a 3-year-old boy named Olek Szymanski, who is battling a rare form of eye cancer.

Malachowski decided that the medal could do a lot more good in the world if he sold it than if he just left it in his trophy case. So he announced his intent to auction it, in the hopes of raising $84,000 to pay for the boy to go to New York and have surgery that could save his life, and even his eyesight. The whole surgery was expected to be $126,000, but a Polish nonprofit had already raised a third of that cost. Malachowski hoped to do the rest.

“I invite everybody to join the bidding. If you help me, my silver medal may be more valuable for Olek than gold,” Malachowski said.

The bidding on the medal was up to about $19,000 on Tuesday, but after news of his generosity got out, Malachowski wound up ending the auction early because a pair of billionaires offered to buy the medal at a price that would pay for the surgery.

“We were able to show that together we can do wonders,” Malachowski wrote. “My silver medal today is worth a lot more than a week ago. It is worth the life and health of a small Olek. It is our great shared success.”

Malachowski generously calls this victory a “shared success,” but really, it’s mostly on him. He deserves a round of applause even bigger than the one he deserves for being one of the world’s best athletes.

This is Malachowski’s second silver medal. He also won one in 2008 at the Olympic games in Beijing.