Ukraine Olympic champion auctions gold medals to support his country
Sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban, Ukraine’s most decorated male Olympian, is auctioning his two gold medals and one bronze medal to support his country’s defense and recovery efforts amid the war with Russia.
“It was one of the best moments of my life that can be compared only with the birth of my child,” Cheban posted specifically about his repeat 200m gold at his last Olympics in Rio in 2016. “This Olympic finish left a great memory forever in the world history and in the hearts of Ukraine.
“Time to move on, I would like these medals to benefit Ukrainians once again.”
Cheban, a 36-year-old who coached Ukraine canoeists at the Tokyo Games, took 500m bronze in 2008 before his 200m golds in 2012 and 2016, all in individual races.
He and boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only men to win two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine, which began competing independently in 1994. Cheban is the only man to win three total Olympic medals for Ukraine, according to Olympedia.org.
Swimmer Yana Klochkova won the most medals for Ukraine -- four golds and five total.
All proceeds from the sales will go to Ukraine’s Olympic Circle charity, according to SCP Auctions.
Olympic Circle was created by sportsmen to help Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, fight Russian occupants, according to SCP.
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