Ukrainian boxer Klitschko sold an Olympic medal years before the war


Claim: Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko auctioned off his Olympic medal to help Ukrainian children

Citizens around the world found different ways to send financial aid to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion. Online, there are claims that a Ukrainian celebrity sold a valuable sports token to help children survive the war.

Boxer Wladimir Klitschko “auctioned his gold medal from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to raise money for Ukrainian children,” the caption reads. a shared image March 14 on Facebook.

Similar versions of the message accumulated hundreds of actions on Facebook and Twitter before they were deleted. But the assertion is false, as an independent fact check outlets reported.

Klitschko, a retired boxer, sold his Olympic medal to help Ukrainian children in 2012 – a decade before the current Russian invasion.

USA TODAY has contacted the Facebook user who posted the image for comment.

Medal sold in 2012

Klitschko won olympic gold for Ukraine in men’s super heavyweight boxing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He sold the medal for $1 million at a charity auction in 2012, the Agence France-Presse reported at the time.

The event, which raised more than $1.5 million, was organized by the Klitschko Foundation. The organization, led by Klitschko and his brother Vitali – who is mayor of Kyiv – focuses on helping Ukrainian children through sport and education.

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Proceeds from the medal went to foundation efforts, Klitschko told CNN. But the medal never changed hands.

The buyer’s representative announced immediately after the sale that the buyer’s wish was to leave the medal to the Klitschko family, CNN and AFP reported.

Our opinion: Missing context

Based on our research, we assess MISSING CONTEXT the claim that Klitschko auctioned off his Olympic medal to help Ukrainian children, as it could be misleading without additional information. Klitschko sold his gold medal in 2012 and the proceeds went to the Klitschko Foundation, which aims to help children through sport and education. The medal was sold 10 years before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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