Olympic Volleyball Player Gold Medal stolen in Anaheim
At last summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, the United States women’s volleyball team celebrated a historic victory over Brazil, winning gold medals for the first time.
Less than 10 months later, one of those gold medals went missing after being stolen from Olympian Jordyn Poulter’s parked car in Anaheim, where the team trains.
She told police she parked her car in her garage Wednesday afternoon and came in to answer a call, leaving the car open and the garage open. When she returned later, she saw that someone had rummaged in the car and opened the center console, taking out a bag where she had her passport and medal.
“A gold medal, it’s hard,” Poulter told reporters Friday at the team’s training gym in Anaheim.
Poulter, a 24-year-old who plays dribble, said her initial reaction was to think, “Why didn’t I close the garage door?”
“It’s just an unfortunate shame,” said Poulter, a native of Aurora, Colo.
He said he keeps the medal with him to show it to friends and family, or to people he meets who ask to see it.
“It’s not pure gold, so if you try to melt it, it won’t get you very far,” Poulter said. “The interior is made of recycled computer parts and then plated. So it’s not worth much in that sense. “
Karch Kiraly, the coach of the Olympic team, said that the gold medal could in theory be replaced, but it would be much easier if the person who took it “out of goodness of heart” understood its importance and importance. returned.
“There isn’t a tone of value in there. And the sheer amount of value is all he stands for in this team and everything that has gone through to win one, and in Jordan and his career, and all the effort he has put in, “Kiraly said.” The value lies. in the experience and in the countless hours that anyone devotes to help a team win one of those “.
If someone comes to Anaheim police to return the medal, Kiraly said, there would be “no questions, no consequences.”
“We’re just crossing our fingers,” he said. “We are keeping our hopes”.
Kiraly pointed out that in another recent case, Paralympic Jen Yung Lee recovered three gold medals after being caught in a car raid in San Antonio.
The Anaheim Police Department asks the public to get in touch with any tips, photos, or surveillance footage. The theft occurred on block 1500 of East Lincoln Avenue.
“Our big thing is that we want to make sure Jordyn gets her medal,” said Sergeant Jacob Gallacher. “That medal represents many, many years of blood, sweat, tears and hard work, and it has a lot of value for you personally.”
Police are also checking pawn shops and online sites where someone might try to sell the medal, Gallacher said. Anyone with information to share can contact the police or Orange County Crime Capswhich accepts anonymous suggestions, at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227).