Brazilian judo practitioner Felipe Kitadai, who won a bronze during this year’s Olympic Games in London, accidentally broke his medal when he got in the shower wearing it.
“I took it with me everywhere,” said Kitadai, who defeated the Italian Elio Verde in his bronze medal fight in the men’s 60kg weight class on Saturday.
“I even took it into the shower. But I was afraid to get it wet so put it in my mouth while I soaped myself. But it ended up slipping.”
According to Kitadai, the part holding the medal’s string broke, preventing him from wearing the special award around his neck. He also added there was a small dent on the medal, due to the drop.
After the mishap, Kitadai and the Brazilian Olympic Committee announced that they would request a new medal even though they knew the International Olympic Committee has no obligation to give out a replacement.
While the medal itself is nearly worthless in a financial sense — Yahoo! recently pointed out today that bronze medals awarded at the 2012 games have been valued at just $4.71 — Kitadai said it was particularly special because he won it on the same day as his 23rd birthday — that and the fact that it’s, well, an Olympic medal.
“I’m very happy about my medal. I would have liked gold but this makes me feel really good,” Kitadai said after his win. “It’s the best present I could get on my birthday.”
Update: WINA Sports Radio has just reported that after a few hasty phone calls and apologies, Olympic officials agreed to supply a replacement for Felipe Kitadai.