Polish hammer-thrower Pawel Fajdek nearly threw away his prize for taking first place in the hammer throw at the World Championships in Beijing.
Fajdek won gold for the second time in his career, producing the three longest throws in the event.
After the win, he told the media he planned to celebrate with teammate and bronze medalist Wojciech Nowicki:
Pawel Fajdek after hammer win: “The medal got sweeter taste as my room mate gets the bronze. It will be a big party tonight.”
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) August 23, 2015
However, Fajdek apparently took things too far. According to Chinese media reports, Fajdek went out to a bar, caught a taxi home, and paid for the ride with his new gold medal.
The next morning, he called police in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, and after retracing his steps, they found the taxi driver, who said that Fajdek voluntarily handed over the medal to pay for the ride. The driver eventually gave it back.
Fajdek posted a picture of the medal to his Facebook with the caption: “Thank you very much for all the congratulations and kind words:) you guys are great!!!! And just for you, my new baby up close:)”
Fajdek told reporters after winning that this medal “is different and had its own value and story” compared to the gold he won at the World Championships in Moscow in 2013. We imagine Fajdek will keep a tigher hold on it from now on.
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