German cyclist Tony Martin won four world time trial championships during his 14-year professional career, but only one Olympic medal.
Now he is parting with it, hoping it will help those in need.
Martin announcement Sunday he is auctioning off the silver medal he won at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London to raise money for Ukrainian children and their families through RTL – Wir helfen Kindern, a German charity.
Monday evening, the best bid had already eclipsed 12,000 euros, or more than $13,300. the auction runs until April 9.
“It’s not easy to part with the biggest trophy I could win in my career,” said Martin, 36, wrote on Instagram“but considering the fact that millions of people have lost almost everything, it’s something I really want to do!”
Martin, who retired in September, wrote that he had watched television footage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in recent weeks and “it feels so bad to sit on the sofa and ‘accept this situation’. So he figured he would try to help by parting ways with the medal he won in the men’s road time trial in London nearly a decade ago.
A time trial specialist, Martin has won four world time trial championships and five Tour de France stages during his career. After winning silver in London, he returned to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 but finished 12th in the time trial. It would be his last Olympic appearance.
Martin wrote on Instagram that he auctioned off his medal in hopes it would help those who needed protection the most during the Russian invasion: Ukrainian children.
More than half of the country’s 7.5 million children were displaced in the first month of the war according to UNICEFwho described it as “one of the fastest large-scale child displacements since World War II”.
“I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people of Ukraine will find peace and freedom very soon,” Martin wrote on Instagram.