A ring found by a Canton woman more than 30 years-ago may be connected to a two-time Olympian.
Dena Fourcher, of Canton, said she stumbled upon a ring that she believes belongs to an Olympic teammate in 1980. The ring was found while Fourcher was working as a dispatcher for a charter bus company in California. She said she wasn't able to immediately find its owner and has held onto for more than three decades.
The words "United States Olympic Team 1980" surrounds the iconic Olympic rings with the initials RTC engraved on the inside.
Fourcher wants to find the ring's original owner.
A brief search led WKYC to Rita Crockett, a member of the 1980 Olympic volleyball team. Her first and last initials matched the letters engraved in the ring. Crockett was a member of the 1980 and 1984 Olympic volleyball teams. The U.S. boycotted the Olympics in 1980, but Crockett was able to participate in the 1984 games where she was awarded the silver medal.
WKYC reached out to Crockett, who now lives in Florida, on Wednesday afternoon and asked her if she was possibly missing an Olympic ring.
"Yeh, I don’t have my ring anymore," Crockett said to WTVJ (NBC 6) in South Florida. "I don’t know when I lost it. It was so long ago."
Crockett, who now lives in Florida, later watched WKYC's story and was immediately touched by the Fourcher’s actions.
"I have chills."
Crockett said knowing that there was a possibility that it could be her ring, means she can hold onto a piece of her history.
"This ring was the beginning of my Olympic career."
Crockett started to piece together the details of Fourcher's story, noting that she lived and trained in California with the volleyball team. The ring was found while Fourcher was sweeping out a charter bus in southern California.
While the pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit together, one mystery remained.
The middle letter engraved on the ring didn’t match Crocket’s middle name, which is Louise. Although, Crockett's nickname as an athlete was "The Rocket."
Crockett said the initials on the ring, RTC, may have been a misprint on the ring, but also noted the ring could have a connection to another athlete.
In a phone interview on Thursday afternoon, Crockett said whether it belongs to her or another athlete, the story behind the ring is "keeping the Olympic spirit alive." Crockett said the story shined a spotlight on Fourcher’s compassion to hold onto the ring for decades, eventually to return it to its owner.
"This woman Dena is just an extraordinary person, so kudos to her."
WKYC reached out to the U.S. Olympic Museum and to the Western Reserve Historical Society to attempt to confirm the ring's authenticity and provide further details into its history and original owner.