Bradenton, Florida - (WTSP.com - 10 News Tampa Bay, Florida) Talk about your best days: for Demetrius Pinder, it was the day he won Olympic gold.
As part of the 4x400 meter relay team for the Bahamas, Pinder blazed around the London track last summer. His team upset the favored Americans and people watching the event in the Bahamas went wild.
"It was just not a win for me, it was a lot of emotions and hard work put into that medal," said this soft-spoken athlete outside his Bradenton apartment complex.
But if that was a high point, this week Pinder hit a low. On Wednesday morning, he discovered that his gold medal had been stolen. Pinder had accidentally forgotten it in the center console of his truck.
"It just broke me up, it tear me up," he said of the theft. "I'll do anything to get it back."
And the big question that everyone seems to be asking:
"Why does he have it in his vehicle?" queried Don Harrington, who lives in the same complex.
Pinder, who has been training at the IMG Academy, says he carries the medal with him almost everywhere he goes. He likes to show it to kids.
"To spread the word, no matter what or who you are: you can accomplish big goals," the 24-year-old explains.
The stolen gold medal is actually mostly silver and the value of that metal is most likely less than $1,000. But to Pinder the emotional value is priceless.
However, if Pinder never gets it back, the memory of his London victory and a tattoo of the medal on his stomach will stay with him forever.
"To look on the bright side, I'll always be an Olympian, you know. I'll always be a gold medalist."
The medal is suspended from a purple lanyard and has images representing the 2012 London Olympics on both sides. The medal also has "4x400M" inscribed on the bottom portion of the front side.
Anyone having information with regard to this case is asked to call Bradenton Police Detective Dennis French at 941-932-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous E-Tip thru the web at www.manateecrimestoppers.com