When Christine Girard was introduced with the gold medal in weight lifting from the 2012 Olympics, there was a podium, a Canadian flag and an anthem sung by a choir. Within the viewers had been Olympians, officers, family and friends.
Included amongst them had been her three kids, none of them but born in 2012. That’s as a result of the presentation of the medal got here on Monday, greater than six years after the competitors.
In London, Girard lifted a complete of 520 kilos, good for third place in her division. It was the primary medal ever for a feminine Canadian weight lifter. However in 2016, Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan and Svetlana Tsarukayeva of Russia had been disqualified after retesting of their samples revealed performance-enhancing medicine. Girard grew to become the retroactive gold medalist.
On the Nationwide Arts Heart in Ottawa, about 100 folks gathered for a 20-minute ceremony throughout which Girard lastly obtained her gold medal.
“It was a win of our values, a win for clear sport,” Girard mentioned.
The rising variety of medal-winning athletes caught by testing years later, particularly from the 2008 and 2012 Video games, has meant an increasing number of athletes are receiving medals that for years they thought they’d misplaced. Not all of them had elaborate ceremonies. Adam Nelson, the American shot-putter elevated to gold for the 2004 Video games, was handed his medal outdoors a Burger King on the Atlanta airport in 2013.
“Something they might do to acknowledge the athletes that had been robbed of the second will surely go a good distance towards repairing a few of the injury that was accomplished,” Nelson advised USA At this time.
Girard mentioned: “I feel it’s actually necessary to have a giant ceremony. The extra we speak in regards to the constructive, the higher it might be for future athletes.”
Even when Girard was competing, the specter of medicine hung over the competitors. “Sadly, my sport has a robust correlation between the outcomes and taking medicine,” she mentioned. Of her opponents on the time, she mentioned, “We had lots of suspicion, however we had no proof.”
Girard returned her 2012 bronze medal final spring. However the gold she was awarded on Monday was not the one which Maneza was given. “They made new medals or they took some from the museum,” Girard mentioned.
Girard additionally acquired a bronze from the 2008 Video games in Beijing, the place she initially completed fourth.
Apart from her motherhood duties, the now-retired Girard is planning to return to school for a grasp’s in occupational remedy.
She is bullish on the long run for clear weight lifters.
“I wished to show that it was doable to beat them,” she mentioned of drug customers, “and keep true to who we’re. I bear in mind the primary time I beat somebody who obtained caught. I mentioned, ‘See, see, I can do that,’ ”