Six-year-old Chloe Smith was out for a walk with her dad in Atlanta on Saturday when she picked up a shiny disc from the ground and threw it like a Frisbee, reports Fox 5. Had she known it was an Olympic gold medal, she might have thought twice. The medal, won by Joe Jacobi in the two-man canoe/slalom whitewater event at the 1992 Summer Olympics, was in a backpack stolen from Jacobi's SUV while parked at an Atlanta restaurant earlier this month, reports Reuters. While other stolen items were recovered from an apartment building the next day, the medal wasn't there, per WSB Radio. Jacobi says Chloe found the medal "right up against the curb on the side of a quiet, wooded road" and her dad recognized it from news stories. He then emailed Jacobi, who visited the family on Monday, bringing a $500 reward and Olympic memorabilia.
"She's an amazing little girl; she's got a lot of personality," Jacobi says of Chloe. "Obviously, she and her parents have just the highest, strongest, moral character." Jacobi tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press that only a portion of the medal was actually found. The 1992 Olympic medal is made of two parts: an upper disc and larger metallic base, which is attached to the ribbon. The upper disc "has the Greek goddess of victory on it, the Olympic rings, and the 1992 Olympic markings," he says. "So we got that back but we didn't get the base." Reuters notes it's possible the medal can be fixed, but "it's pretty cool just as it is," says Jacobi, who lives in Tennessee and had the medal with him in anticipation of an Atlanta TV appearance he was slated to do the day after the theft. (Read more uplifting news stories.)