In the Media

Medal theft is 'simply shattering' says Olympic hockey star

PUBLISHED October 25, 2012

An Olympic hockey star whose medal was stolen on a night out has described the theft as "simply shattering" and pleaded for help in retrieving it.

Hannah Macleod, who won bronze at London 2012, is believed to have had the medal taken from Mahiki, the upmarket central London nightclub, following a Buckingham Palace reception.

A bronze medal belonging to Alex Partridge, an Olympic rower, was also stolen, along with the Olympic blazer in which he had been carrying it.

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In a statement today, Macleod, 28, said she was "absolutely gutted" about the theft of her medal.

"Winning it in August was an incredible highlight for me and for this to have happened is simply shattering," she said.

"While it means everything to me, it has no value to anyone else and I just hope that whoever took it can hand it in or leave it somewhere that means I can get it back. I just want it back."

The response to hers and Partridge's appeal for help in finding their medals had been "incredible", she added.

Sir Chris Hoy meanwhile lent a hand to Partridge in his quest to retrieve his medal.

The 31-year-old, who won it in the men's eight, is desperate for it to be returned so that he can show it to his 16-month-old daughter Ava when she is old enough to understand his Olympic success.

His jacket also contained pin badges from previous Games.

In an appeal on Twitter last night he wrote: "To the chap who took my @London2012 Olympic Blazer & Medal last night The police have u on CCTV Please return it to 6 Lower Mall Hammersmith."

Sir Chris, Britain's greatest Olympian of all time with six Olympic gold medals for cycling, retweeted the message to his 389,000 followers.

He also retweeted a message from World Hockey asking him to spread the word and find who had stolen the two medals.

A link to a picture of a dark-haired man smartly dressed in a white shirt and pale tie and holding a drink beneath a straw canopy was also posted beside the question "does anyone know this man?"

Partridge and Macleod had been at the royal event with fellow athletes before visiting the nightclub.

The Queen hosted the reception on Tuesday to celebrate Team GB's unprecedented success at the Olympics and Paralympics this summer.

Afterwards some of the athletes went on to a pub quiz to raise funds for the British Olympic Association in Notting Hill, west London, also attended by commentators including Hazel Irvine and Clare Balding.

Later, a number went on to Mahiki, a west London nightspot favoured by Princes William and Harry, where the medals went missing after some of the athletes left their blazers on their chairs after they got up to dance, with medals in the pockets.

Partridge, who previously won silver in Beijing and also has numerous world championship medals, said he had initially believed that his jacket had been picked up by mistake by a fellow member of the team and that they would eventually realise.

But he later went back to the club and looked through CCTV.

"Then I said 'hang on a minute what's that?' and I could see my blazer being picked up and taken away.

"If it's an innocent mistake, fair enough. I don't care, I just want it back.

"I want the jacket back because it has my two pins from Beijing and Sydney and the medal from London.

"I want it back so I can show it to my daughter when she's older"

Macleod spoke before London 2012 of how she had dreamed of performing in the Olympics from the age of eight but "didn't quite make it".

Yesterday after Partridge's appeal, Macleod tweeted: "My medal was also stolen at the same time. Totally devastated."

Mark Hunter, who won silver at London 2012 and was with Partridge in the club, said he would never have expected anyone could steal an Olympic medal, which had had "so much hard work" go into it.

"For someone to steal that is dreadful, I can't think of anything worse.

"It must be so horrible," he said. Hunter said he was "in shock" when Partridge told him what had happened.

"He was devastated. It was like you have lost a member of your family, it was that kind of horrible conversation."

The apparent theft had tarnished the glorious feelings from the summer Games.

"The nation was blown away by the performances and this is kind of a sad end."

Asked about Partridge, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "On Wednesday 24 October an Olympic medal and blazer were reported as stolen from a venue in Mayfair, central London.

"It is believed that the items were taken between midnight and 5am on Wednesday. Westminster officers are investigating. There have been no arrests and the property remains outstanding."

The Met was unable to confirm details about the apparent theft of Macleod's medal.