The International Olympic Committee has stripped the Chinese women’s team of the bronze medal it won at the 2000 Olympic Games and has said it would award the medal to the U.S. women, who originally placed fourth in team finals.
Below is a press release that USA Gymnastics sent out 15 minutes ago:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 28, 2010 – Earlier today, the International Olympic Committee stripped China of its 2000 Olympic Games women’s team bronze medal because one of its athletes did not meet the age requirement. The IOC said it will award the team bronze medal to the United States, which originally finished fourth in the team competition. The decision, made during the IOC’s Executive Board meetings in Dubai, United Arab Emerates, was based on the recommendation of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).
“USA Gymnastics is grateful that the FIG and IOC took the time to thoroughly review and address this issue that was first raised at the Beijing Olympics,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Every athlete dreams about winning an Olympic medal. In 2000, our athletes and coaches worked tirelessly leading up to the Olympics and this recognition will certainly have great meaning.”
After conducting an internal investigation, the FIG nullified the results of Chinese gymnast Dong Fangxiao at the 2000 Olympic Games in February 2010. It was determined that Dong was 14 years of age in 2000, which violated the rule that gymnasts must be at least 16 years old to compete in the Olympic Games. The FIG recommended that the IOC strip China of the team bronze medal.
The members of the 2000 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team are: Amy Chow, Jamie Dantzscher, Dominique Dawes, Kristin Maloney, Elise Ray and Tasha Schwikert, along with Morgan White, who was named to the team but was injured prior to the Games. Alyssa Beckerman was the alternate. Bela Karolyi was the national team coordinator, with Kelli Hill as head coach and Steve Rybacki as assistant coach.
I was not expecting the Olympic committee to do this. Congrats are in order for the US team, though I’m not sure how much it exactly means 10 years later but still. This team, went through a lot of struggles and had a lot of guts and hard workers. I was a fan of so many on this team that I’m glad they’ll get some recognition for the hard work they did put in.