Olympic swimmer’s stolen medal recovered after theft at Eastern Cape home


The Olympic gold medal won by swimmer Joan Harrison Breetzke, which was stolen in the Eastern Cape, has been recovered, to the relief of the family.

The Olympic gold medal of champion swimmer Joan Harrison Breetzke won in 1952 was recovered after it was stolen durig a theft at her grandson’s East London home.
Image: Craig Murray via Facebook

Her grandson Craig Murray said the medal, which she received at the age of 16 after winning the 100m backstroke at the 1952 Helsinki Games in Finland, was returned to them by a garden service who found it while cutting grass nearby.

Thieves ransacked his East London home at the end of December, escaping with the Olympic medal as well as her gold medal from the 1954 Commonwealth Games which he said held huge sentimental value to the family.

Murray said on Facebook on Tuesday he had been contacted by garden service owner Justin Ainslie after the team come across the two medals.

“My gran could not stop smiling when we broke the news to her. She could not believe it was recovered,” he posted.

Harrison’s achievement was the first Olympic swimming gold medal won by a South African woman.


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