Olympian Saves a 3-year-old’s Life


The 2016 Olympic games were a display of incredible athleticism and triumph. Most Olympians kept their accomplishments inside the games, but one athlete achieved much more outside the games.

Polish track-and-field star Piotr Malachowki won silver for the men’s discus competition. However, he did not use his medal as a trophy or an ego filler, Malachowki auctioned off his silver for a good cause. After his competition a 3-year-old boy named Olek Syzmanski and his medical condition were brought to his attention. Olek was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, an aggressive eye cancer, at the age of 2. Left untreated, the cancer would cause him to go blind and eventually take his life. Unfortunately, the surgery to treat the condition costs $126,000. It was unrealistic for Olek’s mother to be able to pay that much money, but she did not want to watch her child suffer so she reached out for help. Malachowki responded to her plea and admiringly auctioned off his silver medal on an online fundraising site and donated 100% of the proceeds to Olek.

They raised $19,000, which was amazing, but still $107,000 off their goal. Olek’s mother was extremely grateful, but they needed more money in order to save her child’s life. Thankfully, a wealthy Polish family caught wind of the story and offered to pay the entire difference for the surgery. The combined efforts of this family and Malachowki gave brave little Olek the surgery and life he deserves.

I believe the media should be publicizing this Olympian’s random act of kindness instead of popularizing Ryan Lochte’s Rio scandal. People of all ages can be inspired by Malachowki’s incredible athleticism and charity. It is important that athletes portray themselves as good role models and encourage others to follow in their footsteps. There are tons of ways we can each be generous (starting by just paying for the person’s coffee behind you at Starbucks) and Piotr Malachowki is a perfect example of tremendous generosity.