Olympic athletes touched by 'Timbit' generosity

Olympics athletes are feeling touched by the generosity of 10 year-old Elijah Porter of Paradise, Newfoundland.
Canadian sprinter Jared Connaughton and 10 year-old Elijah Porter appeared in an interview together Wednesday on CBC News Network. (CBC)

Olympics athletes are feeling touched by the generosity of 10 year-old Elijah Porter of Paradise, Newfoundland.

The youngster wrote a letter offering his only sports medal, won from a Timbits soccer game to Canada's 4x100-metre relay team, who had to give up their bronze medal on Saturday in London.

Jared Connaughton, the sprinter from the team whose mis-step out of bounds disqualified the team, said the gesture means a lot to him.

"I think Elijah you should be very proud," he said to Porter via a two-way interview conducted by to CBC News Network host Carole MacNeil.

"He's absolutely got a heart of gold, and I know that medal, that Olympic medal slipped through our hands, but having a young fella like Elijah step up and support us without thinking twice about it means a tremendous amount, and shows a huge amount of character for a 10 year-old."

"It's a great example to set for his friends back in Newfoundland and across the country."

"I'm glad that I gave it to him for good use and I'm glad I made his team happy," said Porter.

"It was really inspiring to a lot of people, even my mother called me this morning to tell me about it," said Gavin Smellie, another sprinter from the team. 

"And for my mom to call and tell me about this child who wrote this lovely letter, it was really inspiring," he added.

From disqualification to inspiration

Connaughton said to see the disqualification after the race, and to hear 85 000 people booing was difficult and he's still coping with what happened.

10 year old Porter offered some advice Connaughton and his teammates.

"I know you do great training but, instead of keeping on thinking about what happened, just think more positively and more good stuff," said Porter.

"Amen Elijah," said Connaughton. "You're a smart kid and it means a lot to hear your advice."

A Timbit sensation

The story is making headlines around the world. Porter has been doing back-to-back interviews for two days.

Tim Horton's said it will replace the medal Porter is giving to the Olympic team and give him a new bicycle.

Porter's mother said the phone continues to ring off the hook because everyone wants to talk to the boy whose generosity inspired others.

Spreading the message

"With social media, Facebook and Twitter, it's pretty amazing to see the gesture go appreciated. That's an amazing thing he did," said Connaughton.

10 years ago the same generation might not get the same attention, he said.