Caitlyn Jenner tells Tim Layden what she does with her 1976 gold medal.
After 40 years, Caitlyn Jenner still holds on to the gold medal she won at the 1976 Olympics.
Even though Jenner is one of only 22 Olympians to win gold in the decathlon, the medal isn’t exactly displayed prominently in Jenner’s home. Instead, Jenner revealed to Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden that she keeps the medal in her nail drawer.
She takes a few long strides, turns left and walks through her bedroom-sized closet, into the bathroom and to a vanity, with two stacks of lightbulbs flanking a mirror. She bends to open the middle of three drawers, where a white plastic, zippered cosmetics case decorated with a pattern of a woman’s lips sits on top. She snatches the case and tosses it onto the vanity and retrieves the item below, a wooden box stained dark red, wrapped in a brown leather sleeve and embossed with the logo of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games.
Jenner has a complex relationship with the medal in the bathroom, in the drawer, in the box beneath the plastic case. It commemorates extraordinary work that allowed her to withstand the pain of what is now called gender dysphoria but then was seldom talked about at all.
“The decathlon,” she says, “was the perfect distraction.”
Jenner won the gold in 1976 with a score of 8,634.