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AOC to help Grigorieva replace Sydney medal

25 July 2006

The Australian Olympic Committee has offered to help pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva obtain a replacement for her stolen silver medal from the Sydney Olympics.

Grigorieva's sporting memorabilia - including her Sydney Olympic, Commonwealth Games and world championship medals - were stored in a safe stolen from Brisbane business premises.

Thieves also took an Australian flag bearing autographs of the entire Australian 2000 Sydney Olympic team during the break-in at Tingalpa, in Brisbane's east.

The premise, owned by friends of the athlete and model, and protected by security cameras, was broken into on July 18.

AOC secretary-general Craig Phillips has contacted Grigorieva's manager to offer the replacement.

The AOC has in the past provided replacement medals to other Olympians who have had medals stolen or lost.

Kate Slatter who had her Atlanta 1996 rowing gold medal destroyed in a fire has been assisted by the AOC, as has Robert de Castella whose Olympic blazers were destroyed in the Canberra bushfires.

The Russian-born, Gold Coast-based athlete, who is currently competing in Europe, is said to be upset and "staggered" by the theft.

"It's every medal and award effectively that she's picked up since she started pole vaulting in 1997," her manager Rick Carter told AAP.

"She would describe it as her life in a box.

"She's very upset ... staggered. She's in disbelief that it could have happened."

Grigorieva, 30, has been in top form in Europe and is due to compete in Stockholm tonight.


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