Belarusian swimmer Herasimenia sells gold medal to support opposition

Moscow, Apr 14 (EFE).- Belarusian swimmer Aliaksandra Herasimenia has sold her 2012 Short Course Swimming World Championship gold medal to support the country’s opposition, the Sport Solidarity Foundation, which she presides over, announced on Wednesday.

“The gold medal of the head of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation was sold at the auction!” the organization said on its Twitter account.

“The medal is dear to me, I then set a national record. And this world gold is for the sake of peace in our country. I want to support all athletes and all Belarusians,” she said according to her organization’s website.

The women’s 50m freestyle gold medal she won in Istanbul 2012, setting a new national record in the process, was sold on eBay for $16,100 after 15 people took part in the bidding, which started at $3,000.

The buyer preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons, the athlete was cited by the website as saying.

“I believe that belief in success is 90% of success,” Herasimenia added referring to the mass protests that have been taking place in Belarus since August’s presidential elections, demonstrations that have been violently repressed by police.

Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for nearly three decades, was proclaimed the winner of the elections, a result that is described as fraudulent by the opposition, which demands his resignation and the call for new elections.

The swimmer is currently facing a criminal lawsuit filed by Belarusian authorities claiming she is “damaging” the country’s reputation and causing economic damage as her foundation has managed to cancel several international sporting events in the nation. EFE


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