Olympians put in so many years of hard work to have a shot at glory once in four years. For some, just making it to the Games is an achievement of a lifetime. For some, nothing but a win would do. But irrespective of one’s ambitions, the spirit of being an Olympian is, arguably, a feeling unparalleled. And for those who win a medal at the Games, we’d be willing to bet, it’s the greatest moment of their lives.

But a few Olympians go above and beyond just winning. 

Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski, who took silver at the Rio Olympics, said that he auctioned off his medal this week to fund treatment for a three-year-old boy struck with cancer.

The 33-year-old world champion wrote on his Facebook page that he was moved to auction his prize after receiving a letter from the mother of a boy called Olek who said he had been battling eye cancer for two years and that treatment in New York was his only hope.  Retinoblastoma is malignant cancer of the eye found in kids under 5-years of age.

“I fought for gold in Rio. Today I’m calling on everyone to fight for something even more precious. The Health of this fantastic boy,” Malachowski wrote on Friday to announce the auction. 

“If you help me, my silver medal may turn out to be more precious than gold for Olek,” he said, adding that he would use the entire sum raised to pay for treatment.

“Success,” he later wrote, saying the medal had found takers. “We were able to show that together we can make miracles. This is our big joint success. My silver medal today is worth much more than a week ago.”

It is indeed, Piotr! It is indeed.

(With AFP inputs)