Top Israeli judoka Sagi Muki is auctioning off memorabilia to raise money for more ventilators to treat coronavirus patients at the Laniado Hospital in his hometown of Netanya.
“All the money that I will raise in this project will go to the hospital for equipment to protect against the virus,” said the 2019 World Judo Champion.
Muki is auctioning off personal items online, including his judo belt, a unique “red patch” awarded to Judo World Champions, and uniform from his winning moment at the 2019 Judo World Championship finals in Japan.
“We have raised almost NIS 50,000 (approx. $14,000),” Muki said. He said that his target is to raise enough money for at least five ventilators.
“I hope I can raise as much money as I can for the purpose of saving lives,”
Since the postponement of the Olympics in Tokyo, which Muki was set to attend, he has continued his training from home despite the limitations being “very hard.”
“When we are in hard times like this, the Israeli people and the Jewish nation are very strong,” he said.
Muki has also made headlines for his unusual friendship with Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei.
The 27-year-old Mollaei fled to Germany after he was instructed by the Iranian regime to withdraw rather than face Muki in the semi-final of the 2019 World Championship.
Their long-awaited meeting in February of this year took place after the two exchanged messages of praise on social media over several months.