The case of the missing 2,200 medals

The case of the missing 2,200 medals

Oh dear, oh dear.

Here is quite a sad story about the just concluded Tata Mumbai Marathon – yes, yes, the one I pulled out of and have been whimpering about ever since 😛

Apparently some greedy fellas stole 2,200 finisher’s medals, thinking they were real gold.

I’d seen a few complaints on social media in the days immediately after the marathon regarding the lack of medals, and was very surprised, since this is one heck of a well organised race, but now all is clear.

The Marathon Amateurs, the first category to commence the run, started at 5 am from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, covering a distance of 42.195 kilometres. The disappointment reached its peak for over 500 runners who completed the challenging 42km marathon, only to be informed that there were no medals left for them at the collection counters. The mismanagement and miscalculation by the organizers left participants, who were eagerly looking forward to proudly wearing their medals, disheartened.

However old one is, and however much one says “Nah, I don’t really need a medal, now, do I?” the fact is that in the adrenaline-fuelled emotion of crossing that finish line, of course you want your medal! So I fully sympathise with the disappointment of the runners who didn’t get their medals on the day.

Here’s what happened:

Over the weekend, six were arrested in India after stealing 2,200 finisher’s medals that the thieves believed were actual gold. The crew pilfered the medals from boxes scattered across various tents at the Tata Mumbai Marathon.

“The laborers were engaged in installing tents and fixing banners. The accused thought the medals were made of gold and decided to steal them,” Pravin Munde, deputy commissioner of police, told the paper.

Of course, not even Olympic gold medals are made of solid gold—an Olympic gold medal is mainly composed of silver, which is then plated with at least six grams of actual gold. The 2,200 stolen medals were said to be worth around $1,700, just a little more than the value of four actual gold medals.

Knowing the efficiency of the organisers, I am sure everyone will get their medal eventually, and however much one condemns crime, there is a part of me that feels sorry for the young men involved in the theft (all in their early 20s). They were casual labourers, so one imagines pretty poor people, and they must have thought they had it made, pinching all that “gold”. Instead of which they have been arrested.

Curiously, at the time of writing this, only 620 of the 2,200 medals have been recovered…where the heck are the rest?

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