Iran athlete auctions Olympic gold medal for earthquake victims

Image copyright Kianoush Rostami / Instagram

An Iranian weightlifter has put his Rio 2016 gold medal up for auction to raise money for the victims of last week's deadly 7.3-magnitude earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border.

Kianoush Rostami, 26,

کیانوش رستمی مدال طلای المپیک خود را جهت کمک به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور به حراج می گذارد کیانوش رستمی قهرمان وزنه برداری المپیک و جهان جهت کمک به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور، مدال طلای بازیهای المپیک ریو 2016 خود را به حراج می گذارد. پهلوان کرمانشاهی کشورمان در متن پیام خود در این باره گفت: کرمانشانَگم، اي شار شيرين نفس کم ديرم، اَراي زار و شين همدياريم، ها ژِير آوار کم بتکن خاک، وَه‌ اي کُردَوار بار دیگر دل زمین لرزید تا دل میلیوها ایرانی در غم از دست دادن عزیزانشان بلرزد،دلیرمردان و شیر زنانی که همواره در دل تاریخ بعنوان پاره ای از تن ایران بزرگ در خط مقدم دفاع از کشورشان بودند و هستند و امروز این دریادلان اینگونه در ساحل مصیبت زده طوفان بلا،دست به آسمان ساییده اند و چشم انتظار یاری مردم عزیز خود هستند. اینجانب کیانوش رستمی فرزند کوچک این ملت بزرگ که هنوز در این چند روز خواب به چشمانم نیامده بر خود وظیفه دانستم قدمی هر چند کوچک برای هموطنان زلزله زده کشورم پرداخته و مدال طلای بازیهای المپیک 2016 ریو را که در واقع متعلق به همین مردم است به آنها باز گردانده و برای کمک به مردم زلزله زده غرب کشور به حراج بگذارم و عواید حاصل از آن را به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور اختصاص دهم. علاقه مندان که می خواهند در این امر خیر شرکت کنند می توانند پیشنهاد و درخواستهای خود را به شماره تلفن های زیر 26203390-26203418 و همراه 09192787890 و یا آدرس ایمیل olympic.iran@yahoo.com در میان بگذارند.

A post shared by Kianoush Rostami (@kianoush_rostami) on

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More than 400 people were killed and close to 8,000 injured in the quake.

The western Kermanshah province is the worst-affected area, with hundreds of homes destroyed and some residents sleeping outdoors in the cold.

Mr Rostami, himself from Kermanshah, said he was "taking a step, however small" to help those devastated by the tremor.

"I am returning my Rio 2016 Olympics gold medal - which actually belongs to them - to my people," he wrote in a widely-shared Instagram post yesterday, adding that he had not slept since the incident.

"I will put my medal up for auction. All the proceedings will go to those hit by the earthquake."

Mr Rostami, who is of Kurdish ethnicity, also said he was teaming up with several other athletes to collect aid for the victims,

in front of duvets, warm clothes and water bottles.

Image copyright Kianoush Rostami / Instagram

Many Iranian Twitter users praised Mr Rostami.

"Amid all the bad , Kianoush Rostami's announcement gave us hope,"

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"He is gifting the public what he had earned to make them happy,"

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But he is not the only prominent Iranian athlete stepping up to help.

Ali Daei, a former captain of Iran's national football team who is the world's leading international goalscorer, has also taken to social media to raise funds for those affected.

In

, Mr 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 added.

The video has been viewed nearly two million times since yesterday.

Sareh Javanmardi, who at the Rio games became the first woman ever to win a Paralympics shooting gold for Iran, has also followed Mr Rostami's lead, https://www.instagram.com/p/BbgjH9MFz6s/?taken-by=varzeshebanovaniran she was also selling her medal to raise funds.

"I will auction my most valuable medal, my Rio 2016 Paralympics gold, to help my compatriots in Kermanshah," she said.

By On Events UGC and Social News Team

BBC

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