Iranian Weightlifting Champ Auctions Olympic Gold Medal To Help Earthquake Victims

An Olympic weightlifting champion has put his Rio 2016 gold medal up for auction to raise money for the victims of last week’s deadly earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border.

Kianoush Rostami, 26, made the announcement on his Instagram page.

“I am returning my Rio 2016 Olympics gold medal – which actually belongs to them – to my people,” Rostami said. “I didn’t sleep in the previous nights due to a sorrowful event.”

Credit: Kianoush Rostami

In his post Rostami provided information on how to bid on the medallion.

The 7.3-magnitude earthquake, which hit Iran’s western Kermanshah Province the hardest, was the country’s deadliest earthquake in more than a decade.

As many as 30,000 homes were damaged, and two villages were completely destroyed.

Credit: Kianoush Rostami

Ali Daei, a former captain of Iran’s national football team, has also taken to social media to help raise funds for those affected by the earthquake.

In a video posted on his Instagram page, Daei said he was setting up a bank account to collect donations, assuring his followers the funds would directly go to the victims.

“We can do so many great things if we stick together,” he said.