An unsuspecting American traveller has accidentally stolen the gold medal of a Tokyo Olympian, but is still no closer to knowing who it rightfully belongs to
American traveller Mark Ernst had quite the surprise when he opened up his suitcase last week.
Ernst took an Uber taxi back from Los Angeles Airport and upon returning home not only realised he has picked up the wrong suitcase – but one with a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold medal in it.
And five days after posting a video clip appealing for the rightful owner to get in touch, he is still no closer to reuniting the medal with its owner.
Via TikTok he claimed: “I just Ubered back from LAX and realised I grabbed the wrong suitcase.
“I obviously didn’t mean to take theirs, but they got their suitcase at Costco which is probably where everyone and their freaking grandma gets their suitcase.”
The clip duly went viral but as of yet, no one has come forward.
The suitcase was black and by the brand Kirkland, which is exclusive to the wholesale retailer, and the bag’s only defining feature was a bright green name tag from the snowboarding brand 686.
Other than the medal, it also contained a pair of white and blue sport shoes and an assortment of male clothing.
This led many concluding that the medal’s owner competed in skateboarding, but Ernst said he had ruled out American-born Australian skateboarder Keegan Palmer and had unsuccessfully reached out to multiple other athletes.
Ernst said the medal itself wasn’t “even in a protective case.”
The video prompted a range of contrasting theories from viewers, with some suggesting that the rightful owner was most likely in quarantine after arriving back in the country.
Others however, even questioned whether or not the medal was fake and the story fabricated by Ernst to boost his following and popularity.
But he insisted he was desperate to get the medal back to whom it belonged, and had been in regular contact with the airport and the airlines which operate out of it.
“I’m honestly still in shock that this all happened and have no idea whose this is. I don’t want to get accused of stealing it,” he said.
“I already reached out to a bunch of people and took some pictures and I really want to get this back to the rightful owner.”
Team USA won a total of 113 medals in Tokyo, 39 of which were gold.