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In an article published in the February 23, 1906 edition of Golf Illustrated, George Lyon looked back on his life and career in golf. In reference to his 1904 Olympic win he noted,

I finally won by three up and two to play, and thus came into possession of one of the finest – if not the finest – trophies ever given in a golf tournament; I also got a very pretty gold-medal.

Sadly, that pretty gold medal has been lost. Was it misplaced? Was it sold? Does it sit in a drawer somewhere? Is its owner unaware of its significance? Or does a collector have the medal stashed away somewhere for his or her private appreciation?

More importantly, can we find George Lyon’s gold medal for golf?

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When was George Lyon's gold-medal last seen? 

George Lyon returned to Toronto from the Olympics in St. Louis on Monday, September 25, 1904. He likely returned with both the trophy and his gold medal. The magnificent trophy sits in the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in Oakville, Ontario. There are no reported sightings of George Lyon’s gold medal after 1904. 

George Lyon’s family corresponded with the Olympic committee in Paris seeking a replacement gold medal because the original had been lost.  The Olympic Committee advised the family that replacement medals were not possible. After some further correspondence they agreed to provide a replica of a medal but not one that was identical to the original medal awarded. 

In 2013 while playing a round of golf at Rosedale Golf Course in Toronto I saw a framed gold medal hanging on the wall of the Pro shop. When I inquired about the significance of the medal I was inadvertently introduced to the story of George Lyon. At that time I thought I was staring at the gold medal itself. However, as it turns out what hangs on the wall is not a replica of Lyon’s gold medal.

What could have happened to George Lyon’s gold medal? Like any good detective we need to ask questions about what might have happened. Did George Lyon and his family fall on hard times during the depression? Was the medal sold for its gold value?  Was it sold to a collector? Was it simply lost while the family moved from their residence at 13 Dunbar Toronto Ontario? We don't know.

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Where should we look for the gold medal? 

On January 3, 2015 I enlisted the help of Jared Stapleton. He is the President of the Metro Coin and Banknote Company. Mr. Stapleton specializes in searching for coins, banknotes and collectibles. I have asked him to make inquiries within the coin, bank note and collectible community about medals awarded for golf generally and in particular George Lyon’s gold medal from 1904. For a link to Mr. Stapleton's website go to www.metrocbc.com 

What if we find the gold medal? 

Clearly, this gold medal should rest alongside George Lyon’s trophy in the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. I look forward to the day when we find the medal and celebrate its return to public viewing where it can inspire young and old Canadian golfers for years to come.

If anyone has an insight, an observation or any clue about the whereabouts of George Lyon’s gold medal please feel free to email me at mcochrane@btzlaw.ca

Let the search begin!