Guatemalan Race Walker Is Selling Her Pan-American Games Gold Medal to Continue Competing

Lead Photo: Photo by Jamy Franco, Facebook
Photo by Jamy Franco, Facebook
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What does a gold medal buy? Some would say that a gold medal solidifies an athlete’s legacy forever; for Guatemalan race walker Jamy Franco, however, her gold medal might just pay for her to continue competing in the sport she’s mastered.

Posting to Facebook on Saturday, Franco relayed the fact that she has not been able to compete from 2013 to 2016 due to a variety of personal reasons, and that she needs economic help in order to compete at the highest level once more. Because she did not compete in enough international races in those 3 years, she lost the support of the sporting institutions in Guatemala.

The 25-year-old race walker is currently in Colombia training, and she needs the money to stay in the country until she can fly to Portugal on March 26 in order to attempt to qualify for this May’s Pan-American Games in Peru. To that end, she is selling off her 2011 Pan-American Games gold medal, one that she earned by breaking the games’ women’s record in the 20 kilometer race.

In the post, Franco also says she will donate the uniforms worn in the 2011 games to the highest bidder for the medal, and depending on who wins the auction, she will also provide her services as a motivational speaker for any company gathering.

Since her posting, Franco has received multiple shows of support on her Facebook, and a Generosity campaign has been started in her name. Following the positive reaction, she also shared her bank information as a way for fans to help her out directly, even if they can’t afford to buy the gold medal.