Olympic champ thanks 7-year-old girl who found stolen gold medal in the trash

An Olympic champion thanked a 7-year-old Atlanta girl who found his gold medal in a pile of trash weeks after somebody stole it.

Joe Jacobi won the medal in men's canoe double slalom at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Jacobi said it was stolen when someone broke into his car at a restaurant parking lot in Atlanta back in June. The athlete took to social media asking for help finding it.

Weeks later, Chloe Smith said she was walking with her father when she spotted the gold medal in the pile of garbage on the side of the road.

The girl returned the medal to Jacobi, who then promised to visit her school and let her classmates know about the good deed.

Jacobi spoke Monday to Chloe's first-grade class at Woodson Park Academy. WSB-TV reports the Olympian brought his recovered gold medal with him.

“It’s the idea of choosing to do the right thing, and so Chloe, I thank you for good character and doing the right thing,” Jacobi said.

The girl's father, Wayne Smith, said the family almost walked away from the medal, thinking it was just another piece of trash -- until they took a closer look.

Jacobi also gave the girl a $500 reward and her father some Olympic memorabilia to thank her for returning his valuable keepsake.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.