Thieves steal two Olympic curling medals from a museum in Scotland


Rhona Martin, far right, poses with her gold medal at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics. (Dan Chung/Reuters)

Stealing art from museums is one thing. There’s generally an underground market to sell those works. But a stash of curling medals? Good luck turning that cache into cash. Or maybe things are different in Scotland, where thieves broke into the Dumfries Museum this week — just as the world mixed doubles and world senior curling championships were ending in that southern Scottish city — and stole six curling medals.

Included in the haul, the BBC reports, were two Olympic curling gold medals: One belonging to Scottish curler Rhona Martin, who won hers in 2002 during the Salt Lake City Games; and one belonging to William Jackson, who won his at the inaugural Winter Olympics at Chamonix in 1924. Four additional club curling medals were also taken along with a historic silver casket. The total haul was worth nearly $60,000, the BBC reports.

Martin, who most recently coached Great Britain’s women’s club to a bronze medal in Sochi, told the BBC the theft was an “ice cold bitter blow” for her and “the traditional 500-year-old Scottish sport.” She appealed to the thieves to return her medal:

“So many youngsters have got to touch and see the medal and this has inspired them to go on to take up curling or aspire to do well in sport or life in some way. The medal is not only mine, it is all of Scotland’s…

Scottish police are hot on the case, however. According to the BBC, they’re eyeing three people who were seen in dark clothing around the museum when the incident occurred.

Curlers and curling fans are united on this one. They want to find the medals and return them.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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