Gal Fridman: celebrating his country's first gold medal at the Olympic Games in 2004 | Photo: Israeli Government Press Office

Israel's only Olympic gold winner wanted to sell his medal on eBay. But now, he has changed his mind.

Gal Fridman is 43 years old. Fourteen years ago, competing in the Mistral Windsurfing class, he won the gold medal at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics.

The sailor from Pardes Hanna-Karkur immediately became a national hero in Israel and, until today, he is the only athlete ever to win a gold medal for his country in the Olympic Games.

Last week, he announced that he was planning to put his personal treasure at auction. Fridman said he needed the money.

"I'm looking for an eBay expert who understands how to auction a rare item, the only one of its kind in Israel," the Israeli windsurfer wrote on his Facebook page.

The Board Is Still For Sale

However, and after talking with friends and the Olympic Committee of Israel, he decided to keep the gold medal. Fridman won't be auctioning off his precious possession.

In fact, hours after the controversial announcement, the Israeli windsurfer was criticized for selling the prized medal by fellow countrymen and national athletes.

Gal Fridman: the 2004 Olympic gold winner receives a certificate from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon | Photo: Creative Commons

Fridman, 43, changed his mind and will only try to sell the board that came with the medal.

"I just want to sell the board to a place that will display it in a respectful manner, and that can be accessible to the public. It could be a stadium," stated the former professional windsurfers.

In 2008, the Israeli athlete retired from professional windsurfing and focused on training young windsurfers to follow his footsteps and in mountain biking.

The Lost Medal

In June 2005, Fridman's gold medal was stolen from his parents' house. Fortunately, a few days later, it was found in a forest by a seven-year-old girl.

"It feels as good as winning," the windsurfer said after retrieving the medal.

Gal had already won the bronze medal at the 1986 Atlanta Olympic Games, and the gold medal at the 2002 Windsurfing World Championships, in Pattaya, Thailand.

Lately, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist has been working as a photographer at sports events.

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