Reward offered for return of Olympic champion's gold medal

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A $500 is now being offered for the return of an Olympic gold medal stolen Monday evening.

Thieves broke into a car in northwest Atlanta Monday afternoon, stealing a backpack from the vehicle. What the crooks didn't realize is they also got away with an Olympic Gold Medal.

Now, that Olympic canoe/kayaker and his wife have turned to social media so they can hopefully have the medal returned to them.

Joe Jacobi won his gold medal with partner Scott Strausbaugh at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the C2 canoe/kayaking slalom event, becoming the first American team to capture a gold medal in whitewater slalom.

Joe and his wife Lisa were taking their daughter from their home in Tennessee to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport so she could travel to Colorado to train in her father and mother's sport, canoe/kayaking.

The family stopped to eat at La Fonda restaurant on Howell Mill Road before going to the airport. When they left the restaurant, they discovered that thieves had broken into their car and taken the backpack with the medal and a PC inside.

On her Facebook page, Lisa Riblet Jacobi posted pictures of the car and gold medal, and urged friends to check in pawn shops and on Craigslist to see if anyone is trying to sell the medal.

Mrs. Jacobi told FOX 5 that their goal is to get the gold medal returned to them. She spent Thursday afternoon searching dumpsters around the area where the gold medal was last seen. Jacobi's computer and other items were left near a dumpster, but his medal was not found.

The family filed a report with Atlanta Police.

Joe Jacobi currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for USA Canoe/Kayak, the national governing body for Olympic level paddle sports in the United States.

Anyone with information can email