(ATLANTA) — A 6-year-old girl found an Olympic gold medal in a pile of trash on the side of the road while out for a walk with her father in Atlanta, Georgia.
The medal was stolen from former slalom canoeist Joe Jacobi, who won the medal in the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona. Jacobi’s medal was stolen after someone broke into the Olympian’s car last month in Atlanta.
Chloe Smith spotted the gold medal in shrubs and trash on June 17, her mother, Charlmonique Cunningham, told ABC News Tuesday.
Cunningham described her daughter as “a very inquisitive, very spunky 6-year-old,” who always picks up shiny things she comes across.
“She’s always picking up stuff, always finding things,” Cunningham said. “Both her and her dad always want to bring stuff home.”
Cunningham said she initially thought the medal was “junk.”
“Her dad instantly knew what it was, he had watched the news,” Cunningham explained. “He was aware that the medal had been stolen.”
Cunningham said she remained skeptical but researched the medal and reached out to Jacobi via email with pictures of the recovered medal.
After confirming that the medal was indeed his, Jacobi was “just astonished. He was speechless,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said it took a little prying for the youngster to return her precious finding back to Jacobi, but once she spoke to the Olympian on the phone she graciously decided to give it back.
Jacobi rewarded Chloe with a $500 prize and promised to come visit Chloe’s class in the fall.
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