Stolen Gold Medal Leads To Unlikely Friendship

US Olympic gold medalist Joe Jacobi has a new friend in Chloe Smith, the 6-year-old girl who found his stolen gold medall.

The Olympic gold medal Joe Jacobi won at the Barcelona Olympics in kayaking has brought him a lot of joy since 1992.

No wonder he was devastated when it was stolen from his car a few weeks ago.

Little did Joe realize, that incident, that loss was about to bring him a wonderful gift and a friendship he never expected.

Six-year-old Chloe Smith thinks the story is pretty special, too.

Another fine story of friendship from CBS News’ Steve Hartman.

Joe knows what it is to overcome obstacles and be a champion.

From his website:

I figured out by age 10 that the sport of kayaking was my path forward. A challenging activity I enjoyed with my friends that transported me to off-the-grid destinations that counter-balanced my suburban Washington, D.C. upbringing.

By 16, I was competing internationally.
By 18, I stood on a World Cup podium.
At 22, with my canoe partner, Scott Strausbaugh, I won America’s first ever Olympic Gold Medal in Whitewater Canoe Slalom.

My trajectory within the sport carried me to more Olympic Games – first, as an athlete in 2004, and next, as NBC televisions’s color commentator for canoeing in 2008. Then I landed my dream job – CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak, the sport’s Olympic and Paralympic governing body that supports America’s best competitive paddlers.

In the process of supporting athletes, coaches, sponsors, committees, events, and volunteers, I forgot how to support myself. My health unraveled. I gained weight, clung to stress, formed poor habits, and disconnected with the very elements that I believed were my “super powers” going into the job.

Five years ago, I started to make some changes – very small and slow at first – with no big goals. My physical health improved. Other parts of my health slowly followed suit.

And if you like stories about friendship, you might like my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



Stolen Gold Medal Leads To Unlikely Friendship

by DarynKagan time to read: 1 min
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