ATLANTA, Georgia (WXIA) – There’s a story behind every Olympic medal.
But the medals in this news story now tell an unexpected tale of mystery.
They were stolen from DeKalb County track star Angelo Taylor last week, and Lorenzo Kerry found them Wednesday morning at work.
Kerry is the maintenance supervisor for A2B Budget Hotel on Candler Road at I-20.
He says he was walking on the fourth-floor breezeway when he spotted a crumpled-up paper bag on the floor, next to a trash can.
“I picked it up, was going to throw it away, but it was kind of heavy,” Kerry said Wednesday night. “I looked in there, lo and behold.”
Inside the crumpled paper bag that Kerry almost threw away were two Olympic track medals, from the Beijing Olympics and the London Olympics, as well as a World Championship Track medal, all attached to their original lanyards.
Kerry saw the story from last week with Olympic medalist Angelo Taylor describing how someone had stolen his medals.
According to the DeKalb County Police incident report, someone broke into Taylor’s SUV parked outside his DeKalb County home and stole the medals and other items such as his laptop computer.
Taylor had been to a speaking engagement and had not yet brought the medals into his house.
“I won’t ever, ever do that again,” he said.
Wednesday afternoon, Lorenzo Kerry called to say he found the medals.
Kerry speculates that the thief or thieves might have been staying at the $25-a-night hotel, and kept all the stolen items except the medals.
Kerry drove, with his wife and young daughters in their four-door Buick, to meet with Taylor Wednesday night.
And the very grateful, five-time Olympic medalist received his medals one more time, this time from a smiling maintenance supervisor from the A2B Budget Hotel.
“I’m glad he saw the story,” Taylor said, “and he knew how much it meant to me. You know, he was saying he used to be an athlete and he knows how it feels and what it means, and I’m just overjoyed.”
Taylor and Kerry shook hands and embraced as Kerry handed the medals to Taylor.
All Kerry asked of Taylor was to sign his elder daughter’s autograph book, and to pose for a snapshot with the family.
“I wanted to make sure I got these back into his hands, because I know what all that he had to go through and endure, just to get ’em.”
Taylor wrote down Kerry’s contact information, and told the family he will be sending them some souvenirs and other expressions of his gratitude.