OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Last week at Liberty National, Xander Schauffele revealed that he hadn’t spent a lot of time with his Olympic gold medal since winning it in Tokyo last month.
“Pops has it,” Schauffele said. “I can’t get it off of him right now. I had a couple of media things to do with the medal, and then I got a phone call shortly after that asking for the medal back.”
Stefan Schauffele says it’s been “an even split,” but he did sleep with the medal cradled in his arms the night of his son’s Olympic triumph.
The medal is currently in the clutches of Stefan, or “Ogre,” as he’s affectionately called. Stefan and his Xander’s mom, Chen Ping-Yi, are in the Baltimore area for this week’s BMW Championship, and Stefan is carrying the 1.2-pound medal around in its black velvet drawstring bag. He’s already shown it off a few dozen times.
So, where else has the medal been with the Ogre?
Well, for starters, there was the Twitter photo of Stefan wearing it along with a short, tight-fighting bathing suit and flip-flops. “It wasn’t the smallest thing I own,” he added. But more seriously, the medal has produced some pretty memorable moments. The top one was the Xander showing it to his 90-year-old maternal grandfather, who lives in Japan, the night of his victory.
“That’s a very hard thing to do, to impress a 90-year-old,” Stefan said.
Stefan also has been taking it around San Diego and letting kids wear it, hoping to hopefully inspire future Olympians. Stefan, of course, had his Olympic decathlete dreams ended after being struck by a drunk driver when he was younger.
“The biggest thrill that you get out of it, and we believe it’s for sharing, the biggest thrill is to put it around the neck of a 13-year-old, whether a golfer or athlete of any sport,” Stefan said. “They literally lose it – and then they’re inspired. And the wonderful thing is you don’t have to say a word, you just do that and they’re inspired.
“It’s powerful, and it will never get old.”