OCEANSIDE (CBS 8) - A local Olympian is celebrating the discovery of her gold medal, which was stolen from her Oceanside home a week ago.
Because the medal is now part of a major burglary ring investigation, it's going to be a while before Tristan Gale Geisler gets to bring it home. She could hardly contain herself as she was temporarily reunited with her prized possession from the 2002 Salt Lake City games.
"Just as great as when you cross the finish line and found out you won it the first time," she said.
Oceanside police have arrested three men on suspicion of stealing the medal from Geisler's townhome a week ago.
"To have it returned in a week is just spectacular. (Police) did a lot of 24-hour days, a lot of hard work. They are the ones who earned the medal this time around," she said.
Geisler, who captured the top honor in the women's skeleton sledding event, says the medal took quite a beating during its week-long odyssey away from her.
"There's one area where they knocked it so hard it went all the way down to the silver. I don't know if that was to see how much gold was in it," Geisler said.
Authorities told the Miracosta College art major the thieves tried to sell the award to at least one gold buyer.
"It wasn't that the gold guy didn't want the medal, but he thought it was a fake. He looked at these guys and I guess they really didn't match up to a women's skeleton athlete, so he didn't buy it," she said.
The medal's ribbon had been cut off, but fortunately Geisler has a backup and will get another one from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Officers found Geisler's medal and her Olympic ring while serving a search warrant at an apartment in the 500 block of Greenbrier Drive Tuesday afternoon. They also served a warrant at at a house in the 1500 block of Dubuque Street for other items taken from the 30-year-old, including computer hard drives and video games.
"They dropped my engagement ring when they were getting out of the window, I found that under the bed yesterday. So I think a lot more of my stuff is going to come back to me than I can hope for," Geisler said.
Police also told Geisler they expect to arrest several more people and serve more search warrants connected to the burglary ring responsible for her crime and many others.