-- The young girl who found and returned a stolen Olympic gold medal got to meet its rightful owner on Monday, reports WSB-TV Atlanta, a local ABC affiliate.
Chloe Smith, now 7 years old, found the medal in a pile of trash two months ago while out walking with her father and returned it to Olympic canoe racer Joe Jacobi.
Jacobi won the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. This June a thief broke into his car and stole a backpack with the medal inside.
After Chloe returned his prized possession, he promised to visit her classroom in Atlanta to thank her in person.
“[She asked], ‘Mom, when is Joe coming to school?’ She was very excited. She couldn’t wait,” Chloe’s mother, Charlmonique Smith, told WSB-TV.
Speaking to Chloe’s first grade class, Jacobi praised her selfless decision.
“It’s the idea of choosing to do the right thing, and so, Chloe, I thank you for good character and doing the right thing. And to her parents and her family, I thank you guys,” he said.
Jacobi called it a lesson from which everyone can learn.
“I think sometimes we don’t give a 7-year-old child enough credit for the choices they can make and the influence and power of one choice on an entire community,” he said.