TEHRAN (Press TV) - Iranian weightlifter Kianoush Rostami has decided to put his Rio 2016 Olympic Games impressive achievement to good use, and auction his gold medal to give the money to families stricken in the magnitude-7.3 earthquake that struck western Iran at the weekend.
"This calamity has stricken me with deep grief. I personally owed a duty to make my own contribution. I chose to auction the 2016 Olympic Games gold medal, and donate the proceedings to my compatriots,” the 26-year-old sportsman, who comes from the quake-hit western Iranian city of Kermanshah, wrote in a message.
According to the latest figures, nearly 430 people have lost their lives and over 7,000 others sustained injuries in the tremor. Some 12,000 homes have also been completely destroyed in the incident.
Iranian aid institutions and relief workers have been working round the clock to attend to the injured and provide the survivors with their basic needs.
Along with officials, Iranian people have also mobilized in response to the natural disaster to help decrease the sufferings of their compatriots, with many donating blood and preparing aid packages.
On August 13, the Islamic Republic of Iran won its first medal of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games as Rostami grabbed gold in the men's 85-kilogram category with a world record after lifting a total of 396 kilograms.
The Iranian weightlifter eclipsed his own world mark by one kilogram, and beat Tian Tao of China, who snatched the silver medal with a total lift of 395 kilograms.
The Iranian athlete lifted 179 and 217 kilograms in snatch and in clean and jerk respectively.
Romanian Gabriel Sincraian grabbed the bronze medal with a lift of 390 kilograms.
******Iranian weightlifter Kianoush Rostami poses with his Rio 2016 Olympic Games gold medal after finishing first in the men's 85-kilogram category on August 13, 2016.