Tony Martin applauded for auctioning London 2012 silver medal to help Ukrainian children
Former German cyclist Tony Martin has put his London 2012 Olympic silver medal up for auction to help raise funds for Ukrainian children.
Even as Russian forces continue to wreak havoc in Ukraine, help for victims of the war has been pouring in from all quarters. Several renowned names across various walks of life have come out to support Ukrainians, especially the children, and one such icon is former pro-cyclist Tony Martin.
The German has now put his London 2021 Olympic silver medal up for auction to raise funds to support Ukrainian children impacted by the horrific Russian invasion.
Confirming this news on his official Instagram handle, Martin wrote, "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."
"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 @rtlwirhelfenkindern," the German added.
"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! I hope from the bottom of my heart that the people of Ukraine will get back their peace and freedom very soon!" the former pro-cyclist concluded.
Martin finished as the runner-up in the men's individual time trial event during London 2012 Olympics. Bradley Wiggins won the event in front of a home crowd, with fellow Briton Chris Froome securing the bronze medal.
Funds raised by auction will go to RTL Wir Helfen Kindern - "RTL we help children". According to the foundation, 7.5 million children in Ukraine have been put at risk during the conflict. It added that it would help provide further evacuations, transport of clean drinking water and psychological support to children who have been traumatised by the war.
Following this gesture, Martin, whose auction is scheduled to end on April 4, has been applauded by several netizens. The current highest bid for the medal is 20,150 pounds.
One user commented on Martin's post stating, "That is amazing Tony. You are truly an amazing guy. Been honoured to watch you ride and even more so see this. I am currently helping at an aid centre in the north of England to get aid to Ukraine, we have sent 2 lorry's, one yesterday, stacked full of food, clothes, pet food etc. It is the only way it seems I can help. Good luck with the auction and thank you."
Meanwhile, another user said that he hoped the highest bidder returned the medal as a mark of respect. "I hope that the highest bidder has the courtesy and respect towards you to leave the medall in your possession and just donates the money," a user by the name lilone84 commented.
Several other Instagram users saluted and applauded Martin for this kind gesture, with a few even suggesting that the cyclist deserves a gold medal for this.
The 36-year-old, who was crowned world time trial champion on four occasions, retired from cycling at the end of last season following a successful career. Martin had won the mixed team relay event in his final race last year. The cyclist has also clinched 11 national time trial titles, and six-stage wins at the Tour de France. The German's career also included victory at Paris-Nice, and two stage wins at the Vuelta a España.
Earlier this month, Lithuanian Olympic champion Daina Gudzinevičiūtė donated her Sydney 2000 shooting gold medal to support relief efforts in Ukraine. Ukrainian Paralympic medallist Serhii Yemelianov has also kick-started an auction to raise money for the armed services in the nation.