Freestyle skiing champion Alexei Grishin of Belarus has sold his gold medal for $55,000 US at auction.
The medal, designed by Omer Arbel and Corrine Hunt, features on the front embossed Olympic rings against a unique stylized pattern inspired by pods of orca, or killer whales, while the back showcases the Inukshuk emblem of the 2010 Vancouver Games along with a mention of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the sport of Men’s Freestyle Skiing.
According to Belarus news the 40-year-old decided to auction the medals to raise money for a person close to him who needs a “serious operation.”
“I have no other opportunity to help him but to sell the medals,” he told TUT.BY. “For me, human life is more important than a medal.”
RR Auction in Boston said the athlete selling the medal has asked to remain anonymous. But after CBC News published the story about the medal going to auction, 2010 aerials champion Alexei Grishin of Belarus identified himself as the seller.
Grishin also put up the bronze medal he won in aerials at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. It sold for $22,778 US.