[REAL VERSION] London 2012

REAL VERSION

Full coverage on NBC through August 12

Local Olympian Gets Her Stolen Medal Back

But it didn't return unscathed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC San Diego

    Oceanside resident and Olympic gold medalist Tristan Gale Geisler was grinning Thursday as her gold medal was once again placed around her neck.

    “There’s no podium this time I guess,” Geisler said.

    Mauro Gonzalez, Emilio Valencia and David Villa are accused of stealing the medal, among other items, from Geisler’s home.

    The champion, who won the women's skeleton at the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City, reported that her medal, Olympic ring, engagement ring, computers and other possessions were taken during the break-in Jan. 25 at her home.

    Investigators said they recovered the medal and the jewelry while serving a search warrant on Greenbrier Street. They also reported finding two assault rifles and other stolen property.

    The trio, allegedly involved in a theft ring where they would wear gloves and masks and be on the lookout for one another during robberies, was taken into custody.

    “I feel very fortunate because most Olympic medals, if they’re lost or stolen, you don’t have this kind of a happy ending,” said Geisler.

    This time of year has special meaning for the Olympian. February 20 was the anniversary date of her winning race.

    “It was strange that I didn’t have my medal, and even though it was nine years ago that I raced, at least it was nice to know that it was here and it had been found,” said Geisler.

    The medal was returned to Geisler on Thursday, but it didn’t return unscathed.

    “I don’t know if they… wanted to see how much of it was gold or what not, but they just cut a little bit down on the corner there,” said Geisler.

    She said she could get it fixed, but will she? Probably not.

    “It does tell history, a little bit, when you see it,” said Geisler.

    Regardless of the damage, the medal’s return is triumphant for Geisler -- an Olympian with an appetite for winning.

    “It’s pretty fantastic,” she said.

    The men are being held on $250,000 bail.