Iran’s Olympic weightlifting champion Kianoush Rostami has put his gold medal up for auction to raise money for the victims of Sunday’s earthquake that left at least 452 people dead in Iran and Iraq.
The 7.3-magnitude quake that struck in the remote border area between Iran and Iraq on Sunday left thousands of people injured hundreds of villages destroyed. The earthquake, the deadliest of the year, was felt as far away as Turkey and Pakistan.
Rostami, who won gold at the Rio de Janeiro games in 2016, says the disaster has left him desperate to help those affected.
He says, ‘I consider it my duty to take a step, however small, to help my beloved fellow countrymen who have suffered as a result of the quake. I am returning the gold medal, which is theirs by right, to my people. I will auction off the medal and use the proceeds to help the quake victims.”