Stolen Olympic gold medal found in discarded McDonald’s bag

July 12, 2022

If you came across a fast food bag on the ground, you probably wouldn’t pick it up and look inside. But, if you were to check it out, you’d expect to find maybe some ketchup packets, a half-eaten burger, and some napkins. This was far from the case for a California woman decided to take a peek inside a McDonald’s bag she saw on the pavement outside of her Anaheim, California-based office, reports Delish.

Assuming the plastic bag was merely litter, the woman, 50-year-old Maria Carrillo, picked it up and was surprised by how heavy it was. When she opened the bag, she discovered a gold medal engraved with the words Games of the  XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, according to The Washington Post.

A bit skeptical about the authenticity of the gold medal, she phoned her husband, Noe Hernandez, who works as a barber. “Noe has a friend who works for the police department, and it turned out he was coming in for a haircut,” Carrillo told the Post. “As soon as [the officer] saw it, he told my husband it was real and that it had been stolen.”

It turns out that the Olympic gold medal belonged to Jordyn Poulter, the starting setter of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Volleyball Team. Poulter and her teammates took home the gold at last year’s Summer Olympics after defeating Brazil. The athlete, who had been showing the medal to friends the day it was stolen, accidentally left the medal in her car, which she forgot to lock.

“I’d forgotten to take it out of the car,” Poulter said. “When I saw it had been stolen, I felt instant regret. I also felt stupid for not locking the door. I thought my medal was long gone, I made peace with the fact that I’d probably never see it again.”

The Olympic gold medal has since been returned to Poulter, who says she’s “happy to have it back” and plans to send the medal to her parents for safekeeping.

Research contact: @DelishDotCom