The German Olympian announced the auction on Sunday. The highest bid currently stands at approximately $22,490.
Tony Martin won a silver medal in cycling at the London 2012 Olympics. He recently decided to auction off his medal to raise funds for and support Ukrainian child refugees fleeing the Russian invasion. In an Instagram post uploaded on Sunday he claimed it felt wrong "to sit on the couch and accept the situation" after seeing images of what has been happening in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion. The money he raises from the auction will be donated to Wir helfen Kindern (We Help Children), a German foundation supports children and their families fleeing the war, CNN reports.
"Every day I see the terrible pictures from Ukraine [on] TV and it feels so wrong to sit on the couch and accept this situation!" The German cyclist writes in his Instagram caption. "I pay my deepest respect to everybody who helps the people that need to be protected the most: the Ukrainian kids and their families. I also want to do my small part and help. That's why I decided to donate my Olympic silver medal from London 2012 to raise money for Wir Helfen Kindern. It's not easy to separate me from the biggest trophy I could win in my career but considering the fact that millions of people lost almost everything, it is something I really want to do!"
The auction was launched the previous day by the non-profit organization United Charity️️️️️️. Martin affirms, "I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people of Ukraine will get back their peace and freedom very soon!" The auction will run until April 9. The highest bid currently stands at €20,250, which is approximately $22,490. While the cyclist, who retired in 2021, has won four world titles and is considered one of the best time-trial cyclists in the world during his career, his silver Olympic medal is definitely his most special win. Therefore, it is sure to fetch a higher bid.
According to a statement from the UN Children's Fund on Thursday, estimates show that one in every two Ukrainian children has been displaced since Russia began its invasion on February 24. Furthermore, UNICEF's statement added that 4.3 million children have been displaced, which represents more than half of Ukraine's estimated 7.5 million child population. This figure includes over 1.8 million children who have crossed into neighboring countries as refugees, and 2.5 million children who are also internally displaced in Ukraine, the statement revealed.
Even if you cannot bid for Martin's prized Olympic silver medal, you can still make a donation to Wir Helfen Kindern. The organization will use all donations to support Ukrainian children in need as well as for emergency aid in Ukraine. The non-profit will donate 100 percent of all proceeds, without deducting a cent. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so by visiting their official website here.