Medalist Gerbi auctions her Olympic ID for pediatric cancer
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Medalist Gerbi auctions her Olympic ID for pediatric cancer

Israeli judoka selling name tag from Rio Games to raise money for medical equipment at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital

Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi kisses her bronze medal for the women's under-63kg category during the awards ceremony at the Olympic Games in Rio on August 9, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 55)
Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi kisses her bronze medal for the women's under-63kg category during the awards ceremony at the Olympic Games in Rio on August 9, 2016 (screen capture: Channel 55)

Olympic bronze medalist in judo Yarden Gerbi has put her name tag up for auction on eBay, saying she will use the money to buy medical equipment for a Tel Aviv hospital.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the top bid stood at $13,000 or NIS 49,089, and was rising rapidly throughout the day.The online auction is scheduled to last one week, until Monday night Israel time.

Gerbi — whose bronze during the Rio Games made her the second Israeli woman to win a medal at the Olympics — said donating the proceeds from the identification tag to the pediatric cancer treatment facility at Ichilov Hospital will make it “more special for society.”

After a recent visit with the children, Gerbi said in a Facebook post she was honored to meet the “real heroes who are fighting every single day to maintain their joy of life.”

An eBay listing for Yarden Gerbi's name tag, taken on August 23, 2016. (screen capture: eBay)
An eBay listing for Yarden Gerbi’s name tag, taken on August 23, 2016. (screen capture: eBay)

“I don’t know how much money I’ll be able to raise, but any amount will help, even if it’s not much,” she said.

Gerbi added she will dedicate the tag to the winning bidder and sign it for them.

On August 9, Gerbi defeated Japan’s Miku Tashiru in the runner-up bout to clinch the bronze in judo, the first Israeli Olympic medal since 2008.

Three days later, fellow judoka Or Sasson brushed off an unpleasant encounter with Egyptian fighter Islam El Shehaby in the over 100 kilogram category, winning two more matches and only narrowly losing to France’s legendary Teddy Riner. He then beat Cuba’s Alex Mendoza to claim the bronze.

Yarden Gerbi at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv on August 15, 2016. (Roy Alima/Flash90)
Yarden Gerbi at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv on August 15, 2016. (Roy Alima/Flash90)

For Israel, the two bronzes from the 2016 Games were a marked improvement on the 2012 showing in London, from which Israel’s athletes returned without a single medal.

Gerbi and Sasson returned home last week to a hero’s welcome, facing cheering crowds at Ben Gurion Airport.

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