Tokyo 2020 gold medal stolen from car of Illinois volleyball alum


The Daily Illini Photo File

Setter Jordyn Poulter jumps to set the ball in order for the Illini to make a score against Louisville on December 1, 2018. Poulter, former setter for Illinois volleyball and 2020 gold medalist for the Tokyo Olympics recently had her medal stolen from her vehicle along with other personal possessions last Wednesday.

By Drew Friberg, Sports Editor

Setter for the U.S. women’s volleyball team and former Illini Jordyn Poulter had her gold medal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics stolen from her car in Anaheim last Wednesday.

Poulter described the situation as “an unfortunate bummer” and has cooperated with the Anaheim Police Department in the hopes of getting her gold medal back.

Poulter told police that after parking her car in her garage, she left the garage door open and kept the car unlocked while she went inside to quickly hop on a Zoom call. When she came back later in the day, her bag of training gear and passport were gone, and the center console that held the gold medal was now empty.

Questions may arise about why Poulter kept her gold medal in her car, but she insisted that holding it in her car was for a good reason.

“We live this crazy life of living in so many different places,” Poulter said in a press conference on Friday. “So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train. So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven’t seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it.”

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Poulter insists that the medal carries much less value to the thief, both sentimental and monetary.

“It’s not pure gold, so if you try to melt it down, it’s not going to get you very far,” Poulter said. “The inside is made of recycled computer parts, and then plated. It’s not worth much in that sense, and I don’t think it has as much sentimental value as it does to me.”

Anaheim PD is currently investigating the case, first checking pawn shops or local areas where the thief may have thought they could make a quick buck. Otherwise, it is relying on help from the public in catching the thief and returning Poulter’s medal.



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