Hannah Macleod's stolen Olympic bronze medal returned anonymously by post


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The Independent Online

An Olympic bronze medal that was stolen from Team GB hockey player Hannah Macleod earlier this week has been anonymously returned.

Ms Macleod’s bronze medal was one of two stolen from a London nightclub in the early hours of Wednesday morning – the other belonged to Olympic rower Alex Partridge. The Metropolitan Police said that Ms Macleod’s medal was posted anonymously to the England Hockey head office in Buckinghamshire. Mr Partridge’s jacket was handed in to a north-west London police station on Thursday without the medal inside.

Speaking of her relief last night, the Olympian thanked all those who had helped with the search: “I am indebted to everyone who has tweeted about it, everyone who has got in touch and who has publicised the situation.”

“I can’t thank you enough. I think all of you played a part in encouraging whoever had my medal to return it. Given the huge impact the Olympic Games has had on London and the UK, I always held hope that it would be returned but it’s still incredible to know now I have my medal back.”

But while Ms Macleod was breathing a huge sigh of relief, Mr Partridge’s medal has still not been returned. The medals went missing when the two athletes were partying with fellow Olympians at the Mahiki nightclub in London’s Mayfair, following a reception hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. They were taken along with the pair’s Team GB jackets, which were left unattended.

A 31-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the investigation has been bailed, pending further inquiries, and police are continuing in their search for Mr Partridge’s medal. The disappearances sparked desperate pleas from the athletes for their return, and an agonised wait for news.

Ms Macleod, who was part of Team GB’s women’s hockey team, which earned a 3-1 victory over New Zealand to secure a place on the podium at London 2012, took to Twitter on Wednesday to ask for whoever took the medal to return it.

“I’m not after punishment. If you picked up a Bronze Olympic medal that isn’t yours pls just send anonymously back to GB hockey – Bisham Abbey,” she wrote.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “The medal is being retained by police at this time as part of our inquiries, though we look forward to reuniting Hannah with her medal shortly.”