The 2016 Rio Olympics may have ended about a week ago, but we’re still getting some heartwarming news from the games. One of the more touching stories comes out of Poland, where an Olympic silver medal winner has auctioned off his medal so that the proceeds could go to a sick child.
— Wall of Sport (@WallofSport) August 23, 2016
Entertainment Weekly reports Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski sold his silver medal so that he could assist in paying for the medical treatment of a young boy named Olek Syzmanski. Olek is three-years-old.
Malachowski used his Facebook page to spread the news of the silver Olympic medal auction. According to Entertainment Weekly, part of the English translation of the Facebook status said, “fate gave [him] a chance to increase the value of [his] ‘Silver.'”
Based on the contents of the Facebook post we know that the boy’s mother had reached out to Malachowski for financial assistance so that she could pay for a surgery procedure to correct her son’s retinoblastoma. According to the American Cancer Society, retinablastoma is a cancer that starts in the retina, which is located in the back section of the eye. It is the most common eye cancer in children.
— Joe Morris (@jspeedymorris22) August 23, 2016
The total cost of the Polish boy’s surgery is $126,000, but the family had already put up part of the money already. They needed the remainder and that’s where Piotr Malachowski came in.
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ESPN reports that Malachowski’s goal for the Olympic medal auction was to raise $84,000, but he closed it prematurely when the richest brother and sister in Poland bought it. The medal’s final price was not disclosed, but when Malachowski ended the auction three days early, the price was at $19,000.
On his Facebook page, Piotr wrote that he ended the auction because the buyers, Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk, “declared their willingness to buy my silver medal for an amount which enables us to meet the goal set.”
— UPBEAT + (@upbeatstories) August 20, 2016
“We were able to show that together we can do wonders,” Malachowski wrote on Facebook. “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.”
As ESPN reports, Poland won 11 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games: two golds, three silvers, and six bronzes.
Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk inherited their fortune from their father, Jan Kuclzyk, who died in 2015 as a result of complications from minor heart surgery. According to Fortune Magazine, Kuclzyk was worth $4 billion when he died and owned a major stake in South African brewery SABMiller. Both his children, Sebastian and Dominika, are now directing the family businesses.
How much is an Olympic medal really worth?
In this case, an Olympic medal was worth a boy’s life, but one wonders how much they can really go for on the open market. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Olympic gold medals aren’t 100 percent gold at all. They’re actually 92 percent silver. The Olympic rules have a stipulation that the gold medals must comprise at least six grams of gold.
If you based your valuation on pure gold content, a gold medal won at the 2012 London Olympic games would be worth $501 today, Fortune Magazine reports. But that worth skyrockets when you put one up for auction. At auction, Olympic gold medal can fetch a hefty price: between $10,000 and $50,000.
[Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images]