August 8, 2012
Laureus Ambassador and Olympic super heavyweight boxing gold medallist Wladimir Klitschko auctioned off his Olympic gold medal, won at Atlanta in 1996, for $1 million dollars.
Having, fought, quite literally, to win this most prized of sporting accolades, it seems peculiar that he would sell it, but the Ukrainian champion was not capitalising on his success for personal gain. Rather, he auctioned it off in order to raise money for Ukrainian children.
Having parted with his hard won prize to fulfil the dreams of thousands of children, Klitschko won it straight back again, with the buyer immediately returning it out of respect to the boxer, and because he wanted it to remain with the Klitschko family.
Boxers know better than most that what comes around goes around, and as this story demonstrates, acts of kindness can be as contagious as acts of aggression. Now a patron of KICK im Boxring, a Laureus project that aims to tackle social issues by offering free boxing sessions to at risk youths, Klitschko is once again giving back to the community.
Seemingly a counter-intuitive initiative, the boxing sessions teach young people to control and channel their aggression. Backed up by workshops and counselling sessions, the project offers individual assistance to young people with social problems which aims to help them develop a more positive perspective on their situation and to aid them in developing goals that will change their lives for the better, an initiative which has helped more than 25000 children.
By sharing the spirit of Laureus, and awarding one of your friends a Laureus Medal you could get your hands on (or even in) the gloves of a legend with this week’s prize of Wladimir Klitschko’s boxing gloves. Which of your friends is worthy of a medal this week? Give them the recognition they deserve! After all, as Wladimir Klitschko knows only too well, what goes around comes around!