Canadian weightlifter finally gets Olympic gold medal, 6 years after competition

Christine Girard referred to as it a victory for blank recreation.

The 33-year-old won her London 2012 Olympic gold and Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medals on Monday in a much-anticipated rite for the now-retired weightlifter.

“I’ve been looking ahead to this second for a very long time,” mentioned an emotional Girard to the gang accumulated on the Nationwide Arts Centre. “There’s simply such a lot emotion. I’m simply so proud so as to be right here nowadays to obtain this, no longer handiest in my identify, however for my circle of relatives, my pals that supported me, for Canada.”


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Girard discovered in 2016 she can be upgraded to gold medal for the 63-kilogram tournament in London after Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan and Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia had been stripped in their medals. A retest in their urine samples had examined sure for a banned substance.

The sensation of successful bronze continues to be some degree of pleasure for Girard, in spite of now realizing she can have been at the most sensible of the rostrum, as she become the primary Canadian lady to medal in weightlifting.

“I grew up believing that it wasn’t conceivable for a feminine in Canada to win an Olympic medal in my recreation,” Girard mentioned. “For me to do this it used to be proving to that little lady that she wasn’t proper not to imagine. It used to be such a very powerful second for me.”

Canada’s Christine Girard competes during the women’s 63-kg weightlifting competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Canada’s Christine Girard competes all over the ladies’s 63-kg weightlifting pageant on the 2012 Summer time Olympics in London.

AP Picture/Hassan Ammar

Previous in 2016, Girard used to be advised awarded the bronze medal from the Beijing 2008 Video games after silver medallist, Irina Mekrassova of Kazakhstan, failed a retest.

Girard hasn’t spoken to the competition who had their medals stripped, however she says holds no in poor health will in opposition to them.

READ MORE: Russia reinstated via Global Anti-Doping Company after just about Three-year ban 


“I’ve spoken to different athletes who had been stuck and I don’t essentially imagine it’s their selection (to make use of unlawful components),” Girard mentioned. “It’s incessantly the ones round them. Their running shoes, the ones liable for the game, it’s truly out in their keep watch over. Some had been compelled to make use of unlawful components.

“I’m extraordinarily proud to be Canadian and reside in a rustic that doesn’t condone that. I’m no longer mad at the ones girls (who cheated). I’m simply very disillusioned that they needed to develop up in a rustic that’s so other.”

Whilst Girard is happy the report has been set instantly, she says she wonders how various things can have been had she won her correct medals on the Video games.

“My 4 years between 2008 and 2012 had been very tricky,” Girard mentioned. “I educated in a carport that used to be slightly heated. I went thru just a little of despair; I used to be burnt out and went thru 5 other running shoes. Issues truly weren’t going smartly. It used to be a truly tricky time.

“If I had the ones medals on time I’d have had a distinct lifestyles, this is needless to say. Now I’ve the risk to move available in the market and inform my tale it’s value it to imagine, it’s value it to do it the proper manner.”


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Girard will probably be awarded $10,000 from the Canadian Olympic Committee for successful gold along with the $10,000 she won in 2012. What she gained’t get again is the possible endorsement and sponsorship cash she most likely would have won had she been awarded the medals on the Video games.

“You’ll be able to’t assist however marvel how other her profession post-Video games would have long past,” mentioned Jeane Lassen, a member of Girard’s training crew in London and previous teammate. “Christine is probably the most adaptable, resilient athlete there may be and she’s going to take this unlucky flip of occasions that she wasn’t ready to the gold medallist at the day of her pageant and use this as a platform for drug-free recreation.”

Girard and her younger circle of relatives – together with her 3 kids, four-year-old Philip, two-year-old Aliana and nine-month-old Samuel – just lately moved to Gatineau, Que., and she or he hopes to paintings with an area health club and its younger athletes. She has additionally been an recommend for blank recreation and attends quite a few symposiums with a focal point on running against a drug-free recreation surroundings.

Girard joins Dylan Armstrong (athletics, Beijing 2008) and Beckie Scott (cross-country snowboarding, Salt Lake Town 2002) as Canadian Olympians to obtain medal reallocations because of doping violations.

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