The gold medal that bought a ride home

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Pawel Fajdek poses with the gold medal he later used to pay for a taxi. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein via Getty Images

It’s a laughable story to come out of these World Championships and is one that has a happy ending.

Hammer throw world champion Pawel Fajdek only did what most athletes would do following a win on arguably the biggest stage and went out to celebrate in the glowing city of Beijing. However, after becoming perhaps a little too intoxicated and realising he did not have enough to pay for the taxi home, Fajdek proceeded to offer his gold medal as a form of payment.

Waking up the next morning only to realise what had happened, the Polish athlete contacted the Chinese authorities and eventually had his medal returned safely.

In an attempt to protect himself from the negative media that would come with a story like this, Fajdek offered an explanation on Facebook, stating that he left his medal in the taxi purely by accident and was not drunk. 

Drodzy czytelnicy tego posta 🙂 na wstƒôpie zaznaczƒô, ≈ºe nie mo≈ºna zgubiƒá rzeczy o której wiemy gdzie siƒô znajduje ;)…

Posted by Pawe≈Ç Fajdek on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It isn’t the first time an athlete has been in the news for behaviour related to alcohol. Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov showed up to a competition in 2008 struggling to run in a straight line.