This Is Where Caitlyn Jenner Keeps Her 1976 Olympic Gold Medal
Caitlyn Jenner’s gold medal from the 1976 Olympics has a rather unconventional home.
Covering the latest issue of Sports Illustrated with the gold medal around her neck, she revealed to the magazine that she keeps it in her nail drawer nowadays.
“Here it is,” Jenner told SI. “In my nail drawer. That’s what you can say: It was in the nail drawer.”
But back in time when her kids (Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and probably Brody Jenner too) were still in school, the medal was popular for exactly what you might think. Jenner noted, “You know what it’s good for? Show and tell. It was a big hit at show and tell with all the kids growing up.”
Jenner, who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated 40 years ago as Bruce, told SI it was important to be wearing it now for the first time since then:
It’s a picture that brings attention to this issue. That’s the important thing. That’s why I wore the medal.
Jenner participated in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, where she won the decathlon. As SI notes, “a decathlon victory is a rare achievement—there are only 22 Olympic gold medalists (12 American)—but to Jenner, it can at times feel insignificant.” She explained:
Sports. It’s not real life.You go out there, you work hard, you train your ass off, win the Games. I’m very proud of that part of my life. And it’s not like I just want to throw it out. It’s part of who I am. What I’m dealing with now, this is about who you are as a human being. What did I do for the world in 1976, besides maybe getting a few people to exercise a little bit? I didn’t make a difference in the world.
She later said that while the decathlon victory was the best days of her life, it was soon over.
For those two days in July of 1976, I was the best in the world at what I did. On the other hand, the decathlon was my best friend, and that was over. I lost my beard.
The medal is nevertheless significant, since it made her who she is today, which is the most famous transgender celebrity in the world. Jenner mused:
If I had not won the Games, if I was not on the Wheaties box and I hadn’t become this, um, this . . . celebrity, would all of this have happened?
…Certainly life would have been different. The gender issues, I was never getting away from. But things would have been different. I would hope I would be doing some of the things I’m doing today, but certainly not on the same scale.
I loved Bruce. I still love him today. I like what he did and the way he set an example for hard work and dedication. I’m proud of that part of my life. But this woman was living inside me, all my life, and it reached the point where I had to let her live and put Bruce inside. And I am happier, these last 12 months, than I’ve ever been in my life.