Retired German pros Jan Ullrich and Tony Martin have each raised tens of thousands of Euros to help children in Ukraine.
Ullrich, 48, auctioned off one of his 1998 Tour de France bikes, where he finished second behind Marco Pantani, raising more than €40,000 for the ‘Ein Herz für Kinder’ campaign, an international charity raising money for children and women in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
“The terrible war in Ukraine and the unimaginable suffering of the people are terrifying the whole world. We are all in shock, my heart is bleeding too,” Ullrich said in a video posted on his Instagram. “Thank you to everyone who took part in the fundraising campaign and made an offer for the special edition of my 1998 bicycle.”
The cycling community has mobilised since the beginning of the war. A Polish continental squad sacrificed part of their season to instead send their race vehicles to the Polish border to help with the evacuation of refugees, while Lachlan Morton raised over €200,000 by riding 1,063km from Munich to the Ukraine border.
Tony Martin is another adding his name to relief efforts. The former world champion auctioned off his Olympic silver medal from the 2012 Games for €35,000 to raise funds for the United Charity organisation. In a nice twist, the buyer, a German company called Fitline, immediately returned the medal to the recently retired pro.
“It was obvious to us that we would return the medal, because it belongs to him,” Fitline told the German newspaper Bild. “We will ensure that this donation reaches the children who need our help,” added Martin, who now works at a private school in Switzerland that has taken in 43 Ukrainian refugees.