Heart of Gold
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Olympic medals don't always go to the best athletes in the word, but sometimes they do go to Olympians with hearts of gold—even when it's a long shot. Check out this episode of On a Positive Note to hear the story of a silver medal winner with a heart if gold.
Hashtag Positivity helps emerging and established leaders experience in their work, life, and community. To see what Hashtag Positivity can do for you, connect with Jonas today to discuss your challenges, goals, and obstacles: www.hashtagpositivity.com/connect
CONNECT WITH THE SHOW
00:15 Joke about a javelin thrower
00:35 Insight about a javelin thrower
01:20 Positive news story about a javelin thrower
02:41 Insight about a javelin thrower
04:57 Reflection questions
05:13 Wrap up
LINKS & REFERENCES
Jonas Cain is a Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator of Fascination for Hashtag Positivity, an educational company that helps emerging leaders and their influencers initiate and manage positive change for personal and professional growth.
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Positivity, Inspiration, Emotional Intelligence, Psychological Capital, Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, SocialSkills, Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism, On a Positive Note, Positive News Stories, Some Good News
Hi everyone! Jonas Cain here with Hashtag Positivity, and welcome to On a Positive Note, the podcast that offers hope through positive news stories, practical insights, and even a little levity.
And on that note it brings us to today’s joke about the Olympian vying for a medal in the javelin contest. She'll need a lot of training and maybe even a little luck, though. After all, it's a long shot.
Even though this is just a joke, it does point to the truth. Olympic medals don't go to the best athletes in the world. They go to the best athletes who actually show up to the arena. And even then, a slight wind at the just the wrong time could send a javelin even just centimeters off, just enough to lose the contest. Winning a medal is truly a long shot, because we can't predict what's going to happen nor control everything that happens to us. But what we can do is choose to have the heart of a true Olympian who never gives up despite the odds, championing for what sincerely matters most.
And on that note, this brings us to today's positive news story that comes to us from Poland about an Olympic Silver Medal winner with a heart of gold.
At the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk missed winning a medal by just two centimeters. But she persevered and vowed to return to the Olympics and try again. But before she could compete again, she had to endure shoulder surgery in 2017 and treatment for bone-cancer in 2018. Despite the challenges stacked against her, at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the 25 year-old finally took home a medal with a silver-winning 64.61m throw.
Speaking about her medal, Maria said it's “a symbol of faith and perseverance in the face of great obstacles.” And in honor of that symbol, she decided to auction it off.
Eight-month-old, Miłoszek Małysa was born with a serious heart defect, causing artery-damaging high blood pressure in his heart and lungs, forcing his family to raise $380,000 for a life-saving operation to keep him alive. But as the operation date approached, they had only raised half of what was needed. Miłoszek was running out of time. That’s when the Olympian stepped in.
When she heard about the challenge facing Miłoszek, Maria said she was reminded of her own battle. "I fought like a lioness through a lot of pain and depression,” she said, and winning the medal brought her enormous happiness. Which is why she was inspired to pay that happiness forward to someone who could surely use it, to help give the young boy a fighting can be to beat the odds, just as she has.
The winning bid of $125,000 was won by the Polish convenience store chain, Żabka, and the money was generously donated to pay for Miłoszek's operation at Stanford University Medical Center.
“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart," said the Olympian, adding, "A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet.”
But the kindness and generosity doesn’t end there. After winning the auction, Żabka returned the medal to Maria, stating: "We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian, so we decided to support the fundraiser for Miłoszek. We also decided the silver medal will remain with Mrs. Maria."
Maria's compassion is a worthy example of what's possible when we maintain humility and focus on what truly matters most. Though medals can serve as meaningful symbols of overcoming great odds, Maria reminds us that a medal's true value is found not by being put on display to collect dust, but rather when we give it away so it can serve the needs and happiness of others. Olympic medals don't always go to the best athletes in the word, but sometimes they do go to Olympians with hearts of gold—even when it's a long shot.
How might you use Maria's example as a reminder of what truly matters most in your life and the lives of those in your community?
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode, and I encourage you to leave a rating and subscribe to the podcast, as that’s truly the best way to let others know about this positive resource.
If you have any comments or stories that you’d like to share with our listeners, you can send an email to me directly at email@example.com. And that email is also listed in the description of today’s episode.
Until next time, my name is Jonas Cain and this has been another episode of On a Positive Note.
Jonas Cain is a Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator of Fascination for Hashtag Positivity, a social entrepreneurship providing social emotional knowledge, skills, and resources to help emerging leaders and their influencers experience greater clarity, confidence, courage, and joy in their life, work, and relationships.