December 19, 2010

VLADIMIR KLITSCHKO, OR: PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS


While most celebrities usually don't do a lot more for charity than showing up at an awards show, or record something that you - the buying public - will then pay for (and that means, essentially you were the ones who did the charitable bit, not them), there are some who do actually put their money where their mouth is.

One of these people showed himself on Saturday night at the charity show "Ein Herz für Kinder" (A Heart for Children) in my home country Germany. His name? Vladmir Klitschko. His profession? Beating the shit out of other people, and that alone shows that I am not so much a fan of boxing. Don't have moral issues with it, just find it incredibly mundane. And I believe that the only time a man should fight and beat the snot out of another man when it is life and death, as I every now and then have alluded to during my writings here.

But still, Vladimir Klitschko. As German comedian Ralf Schmitz went through the hall and asked celebrities for their donations, effectively putting them on the spot, getting 10,000 Euro here (Günther Netzer) and 25,000 Euros there (Uli Hoeneß, donating - oh my - his speaker's fee he will get from a company, which means again that effectively the company has donated, not really him, but whatever), Kltischko stood there, this mountain of a man and told the comedian "I like round numbers, so let me tell you what I will do. If we have at the end of the night, let's say, 14.6 million Euros, I will make it 15. Doesn't matter what the number is, I will round it up."

And he did.

At the end of the night, they had collected 13,25 million Euro.

Klitschko gave the other roughly 750,000. Just like that.

His successes and his determination made him world champion.

His actions on Saturday made him a mensch.