Iran-Iraq Earthquake – Olympic Champion Auctions Gold Medal for Victims

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An Iranian weightlifter has put his Rio 2016 gold medal up for auction to raise money for the victims of the recent deadly 7.3-magnitude earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border. Kianoush Rostami, 26, announced the news on his Instagram page. More than 400 people were killed and close to 10,000 injured in the quake. The western Kermanshah province is the worst-affected area, with hundreds of homes destroyed. 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. “I will put my medal up for auction. All the proceedings will go to those hit by the earthquake.” 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 goal scorer, has also taken to social media to raise funds for those affected. Sareh Javanmardi, who at the Rio games became the first woman ever to win a Paralympics shooting gold for Iran, has also followed Rostami’s lead, announcing that she was also selling her medal to raise funds.