OTTAWA (December 3, 2018) – On Monday, Christine Girard received her London 2012 Olympic gold and Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medals in a ceremony held at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She is the first Olympic champion in Canadian weightlifting history and the first Canadian ever to win two Olympic medals in the sport.
Girard was initially awarded the bronze medal at London 2012. After the International Olympic Committee ordered retesting of more than 1500 urine samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, the samples from two athletes who placed ahead of her, Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan and Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia, were found positive for doping. They were disqualified, losing their placings and medals. Girard was confirmed as the London 2012 Olympic champion in April 2018.
In late 2016, Girard was awarded the bronze medal from Beijing 2008 after Irina Nekrassova of Kazakhstan was stripped of her silver medal for testing positive for banned substances. Girard had initially placed fourth in the event.
Girard joins Dylan Armstrong (athletics, Beijing 2008) and Beckie Scott (cross-country skiing, Salt Lake City 2002) as Canadian Olympians to receive medal reallocations due to doping violations.
Along with being an advocate for clean sport, Girard plans to use her platform to empower people through sport. In a detailed first-person exclusive for olympic.ca, Girard writes that she is hoping all athletes believe in what sport can do for them, regardless of gender, and that her medals are a celebration and victory of Canadian values.
“I want to celebrate this moment with all Canadians as it is a victory of our values. I want people to understand that regardless of your gender or sport, with hard work, determination and a little bit of patience, your dreams are within reach. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey including my family, friends, coaches and most of all to my country for continuing to believe in promoting equal and clean sport for all.”
– Christine Girard, Olympic champion, Weightlifting
“We are thrilled that the day has now arrived where Christine will be properly recognized and celebrated for her historic achievements at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. Christine has shown incredible strength and perseverance throughout her long career, always competing with integrity and grace. We are so pleased to see her receive the Olympic medals which she has so rightfully earned. She is an inspiring embodiment of the Olympic values and fair and clean sport. We congratulate Christine and congratulate those who have supported her throughout her outstanding career.”
– Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee
Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Photi Sotiropoulos, Director, Communications and Media Relations
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