JAKARTA (Reuters) - Several Indonesian medalists at the Asian Games have offered to raise money or donate their win bonuses to the victims of a series of earthquakes that hit Lombok island, killing more than 500 people and destroying tens of thousands of homes.
Badminton men’s singles winner Jonatan Christie said he would contribute part of his $102,000 winnings to the cause, according to the badminton association’s website.
“The bonus will partly be shared with team members who have backed me up from the beginning and even prior to the Asian Games. I also wish to save part of it for my family and for those who really need it, such as the Lombok quake victims,” Christie said.
Damage to the popular tourist destination from the tremors that started in late July has been estimated at $500 million.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian gold and silver medalists in the men’s doubles badminton event also offered to auction off their jerseys and rackets to raise funds, according to media.
Other medal-winning Indonesian athletes who have enjoyed success in sports such as pencak silat and karate have dedicated their victories to Lombok, showing solidarity to volleyball and track and field team members who hail from the island.
The decision was widely lauded on social media, where fans heaped praise on the medalists, particularly badminton men’s doubles champions Gideon Marcus and Kevin Sukamuljo, who are known locally as the Minions due to their diminutive stature.
“Really appreciate the Minions who have offered to auction their shirts and rackets for victims of the Lombok quake. God will bless you both always,” Twitter user @padmapandaa said.
Reporting by Fanny Potkin and Kanupriya Kapoor; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by John O'Brien