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Rio Olympics 2016: Silver medallist makes heartwarming sacrifice

Silver medalist Piotr Malachowski of Poland. Photo / Getty
Silver medalist Piotr Malachowski of Poland. Photo / Getty

Polish Olympic athlete Piotr Malachowski has made one of the biggest sacrifices to help a child in desperate need.

Malachowski is auctioning off his silver medal which he won in the discus, with all the proceeds from the sale going to three-year-old Olek Szymanski.

Szymanski has retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer, and cannot get the life-saving treatment he requires in his homeland of Poland.

As a result, Malachowski is raising money for him to be able to travel to New York for treatment.

"In Rio I fought for gold," Malachowski said on his Facebook profile. "Today I call on all people - let us fight together for something that is even more valuable. For the health of this fantastic boy."

Malachowski won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was crowned a World Champion in 2015. However, at age 33, this is likely the last Olympic medal he will earn.

"Shortly after the competition Goshia wrote to me, the mother of little Olek, asking for help in saving her son. Olek is almost two years old, and more than half of his life he has been battle eye cancer," explained Malachowski.

"Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumour of the eye, which occurs only in children under 5 years of age, it chooses the weakest. In Poland there is no chance of saving Olek. The only chance is treatment in New York.

"I decided to help Olek and sell my medal from Rio at auction. All money from the auction will be spent on Olek's treatment."

The auction is currently at $27,000 NZD with plenty of time remaining to raise further money for the worthy cause.

- NZ Herald

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