Javelin Thrower Maria Andrejczyk Auctions Medal to Help Infant Get Heart Surgery

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 17, 2021

Silver medalist Maria Andrejczyk, of Poland, poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the women's javelin throw at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk won a silver medal at this summer's Tokyo Games in her event. Rather than keep it, however, she's using it to help a child in need. 

According to ESPN's Aishwarya Kumar, Andrejczyk chose to auction the medal to help raise funds for eight-month-old Miloszek Malysa, who is in need of surgery due to a heart defect. A Polish supermarket chain, Zabka, won the auction after bidding $125,000, but then gave the medal back to the Olympian.

"He already has a head start from Kubus—a boy who didn't make it in time but whose amazing parents decided to pass on the funds they collected," Andrejczyk wrote about Malysa, who is also from Poland. "And in this way, I also want to help. It's for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal."

With the money raised, Malysa will be able to undergo treatment at the Stanford University Medical Center. 

Andrejczyk, 25, finished fourth in the javelin in 2016 before experiencing medical hardships of her own after she suffered a shoulder injury in 2017 and was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2018. After undergoing treatment, she was able to participate in this year's Games, finishing second in the javelin to China's Liu Shiying. 

Australia's Kelsey-Lee Barber took home the bronze.