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Olympic bronze medalist Stanislav Horuna said he was auctioning off his medal to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion.
Horuna, who represented Ukraine at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in the men’s karate kumite event, said his lifelong dream was to make the podium for his country. He achieved this by winning bronze at the Tokyo Games.
However, Horuna says that dream has changed since Russian President Vladamir Putin declared a “special military operation” in Ukraine in February.
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“Now my dream is to expel the enemy from my Ukraine,” Horuna wrote on Facebook last week. “It is the only dream of every Ukrainian now.”
Wanting “this dream to come true as soon as possible”, Horuna announced Thursday that he had decided to sell his medal at an auction to support Ukraine and its army against Russia.
“The person who buys a medal will not only receive the most important medal in my 19-year sports career, but also a huge thank you from me personally. And from all the Ukrainian people!” Horuna said.
RUSSIAN-UKARINE WAR: OLYMPIAN STANISLAV HORUNA JOINS UKRAINIAN MILITARY EFFORT AND ASK FOR SUPPORT AMID INVASION
Horuna celebrated his 32nd birthday last month begging for help as Russia continued its attacks on Ukraine. He previously joined the Ukrainian military and used his social media platform to draw attention to Russia’s attacks led by Putin.
“Hello my friends. It’s the first of March and today is my birthday,” Horuna said in a video posted to Instagram, while dressed in full military gear. “Just in case, if you wanted to give me a birthday present, better [to] send [that money] as a donation to support the Ukrainian army and mention Ukraine in your social networks.”
“Thank you. Support Ukraine,” he added.
Last month, Horuna also posted videos to his Instagram Story of Ukrainian civilians appearing to throw Molotov cocktails. Even the children were photographed helping out.
“This is Ukraine! We unite and help each other,” he wrote. “Even if we have to make bombs.”
Other Ukrainian athletes have spoken out or joined the military effort, including boxing champions Wladimir Klitschko and Vitali Klitschko, who is the mayor of kyiv.
On Thursday, a Facebook user suggested that Horuna share ownership of the medal with someone, so he could always keep it.
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“I don’t need a medal. I’m [an] Olympic bronze medalist and will die with that status,” Horuna replied.
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report
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