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Medal Stolen From Junior Olympian

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Brandon Ballard
Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — An Anne Arundel County Junior Olympian is one medal short. Someone broke into his father’s car during a tournament in Texas.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the priceless item stolen from the vehicle.

The 19-year-old wrestler traveled more than a thousand miles to Houston to participate in the Junior Olympics and, like many of his American idols on the Olympic team in London, winning a medal is the main goal.

At just 19, Brandon Ballard is already making a name for himself in the world of wrestling.

“I started out in football and when I started wrestling, that became my favorite sport,” Ballard said.

For four years, Ballard wrestled for North County High School.

“I won state this year,” he said.

He hopes to one day participate with the greatest athletes in the world in the Olympics.

“In four years I will be out of college, so I am definitely going to try and make the Olympic team,” he said.

For now, Ballard competes with Potomac Valley Wrestling of Maryland and recently traveled 24 hours to Houston to participate in the Junior Olympics, where he wrestled his way to a bronze medal.

“I lost by a point so I didn’t know if I would place. When I saw my name on the paper, I was happy,” he said.

Unfortunately, all of Ballard’s hard work would be stolen as he and his family slept at a hotel.

“We went to the car at 7 a.m. and I looked in the back. Stuff was missing,” Michael Ballard said.

The Ballard family locked their doors of the gold Escalade and woke up to find the locks popped and all of their stuff gone–including Ballard’s medal.

“The bronze was my individual medal. That’s what I earned myself. That was upsetting, especially my first one ever,” Ballard said.

The thieves may have stolen his bronze but Brandon hopes one day to replace it with gold.

“That will be even better,” he said.

The family is trying to see if he can get another bronze medal.

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