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Top Athletes Losers: Thieves Take Medals for Liberty Event

United Press International

Silver medallions to be presented to Muhammad Ali and other top U.S. athletes at Statue of Liberty celebrations were stolen and officials say there is not enough time to mint new ones before the ceremonies begin.

The 40 medallions, worth nearly $2,400, were taken Thursday afternoon from a delivery van outside the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, police said.

The 1 1/2-inch round medallions encased in Lucite were to have been “gifts from America” to Ali, Hank Aaron, Billie Jean King, Peggy Fleming and other top athletes at a Sports Salute to the Statue at Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey on July 6.

Bill Potter, a vice president of National Standard Group, producer of the awards, said the medallions were minted exclusively for the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. The firm appealed to the thieves to return the medallions.

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