Earlier this week I heard something heart breaking. Fellow Olympian and Water Polo player, Merrill Moses, had the most unique symbol of his athletic career taken from him. His Olympic Silver medal was taken from his parents house while they were away on vacation. (Story here.)As, with anything that gets stolen from you, I can imagine he (and his family for their losses) feel violated and helpless to recover these precious items.
When I heard, I went and got my own medals. I had a need to feel their weight in my hands. As I looked at them, like always, I am flooded with memories. Not necessarily only of water polo games. But of training and traveling with my teammates. Laughing, crying and being deliriously tired. It is like each one has its own story. Its own soul. Because, each one represents a journey that lasted years not just the hour of the final match.
Someone out there stole Merrill's medal and in a way I feel like that medal was severed from its soul. For an Olympic medal has only one true owner. The person whose neck it is placed around after they rightfully competed for it.
While holding them I also realized that I have very rarely seen an Olympic medal without the athlete who had won it. There is only one time I saw a medal on display in a showcase and while I knew the story of the athlete that it belonged to, it didn't seem quite as special as the ones I was introduced to with their rightful owners. (The gold and bronze medal pictured with mine are of a female and male rower.)
So I want to know who out there is going to buy this stolen medal? And for how much? How can you put a price on all of Merrill's memories? The symbol of HIS journey? How could it ever be as special to anyone else as it is to him?
I hope with all my heart that his medal is found or returned. Or maybe that someone reading this can help that occur.