Erika Salume may not be a household name in most parts of the world. But the ex-World and Olympic track champion is something of a legend in her home country of Estonia. Which makes the news that she’s been forced to sell, amongst other accoutrements from her glittering career, her two Olympic gold medals from Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992) very sad indeed; even moreso as it was to help pay for medical expenses relating to a back injury.
She’s not the first to hock off medals, of course. Nor will she be the last. It serves as a timely reminder that for all the glory they might enjoy, an elite athlete’s time in the sun really is fleeting. Even the very best.