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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Aymeric Laporte buys French boxer’s kit in auction, hands it back

"It’s a nice thank you especially to you for your action against the virus and these auctions that help those who need it most," said Aymeric Laporte after raising money for healthcare workers.

By: Reuters | Updated: April 20, 2020 7:17:09 pm
Aymeric Laporte in action. (Source: Reuters)

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte paid around 5,000 euros ($5,435) for the kit used by deceased French boxer Alexis Vastine at the London 2012 Olympics in an auction to raise money for healthcare workers, then donated it back to his father.

The auction of sports memorabilia to raise money for French healthcare workers in the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic was thought up by French handball player Cyril Dumoulin, a world and European champion.

Reacting to Laporte’s gesture, Dumoulin posted a message on Twitter: “When the facts speak more than words! Thank you @Laporte who won this auction with the wish to leave this outfit to his father! Your talent is great, your heart too!!!”

Laporte replied: “It’s a nice thank you especially to you for your action against the virus and these auctions that help those who need it most.”

Vastine won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the light welterweight division but was eliminated in the quarter-finals in London four years later.

He died in a helicopter crash in Argentina in 2015 while taking part in a French reality TV show Dropped. Nine other people, including Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat and sailor Florence Arthaud were also killed along with seven others.

Dumoulin, who plays for HBC Nantes, has been selling training kits for two years to raise money for good causes.

“At the start of confinement, I started tidying up my garage, my closets and I realized that I had accumulated a lot of clothes,” he said.

“With two friends, we said to ourselves why not make a big sale for the benefit of hospital staff? Other handball players naturally came forward to offer their outfits, some Nantes sports journalists activated their network to spread the idea. Since then, it has grown steadily.”

Earlier this month he said he was raising around 4,000 euros each day from his #SPORTAIDONS initiative.

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