Christine Girard has been officially upgraded to the gold medal in the 63 kg bodyweight from London 2012, and to the bronze medal in the same category from Beijing 2008.
Six years after she should have stood atop the Olympic podium, Girard will finally get her moment of glory. Arrangements still have to be made for the gold medal to be delivered to Canada, followed at a later date by a presentation ceremony.
So even if it is only on paper for now, Girard is Canada’s first ever Olympic weightlifting champion and soon-to-be proud owner of two of the country’s four Olympic medals in the sport.
Girard said: “When I came back from Beijing people were telling me, because I was fourth, ‘well you know you’re almost good, don’t give up you’re almost good’. It was really hard for me but now this fourth turns to third and now I will be third and first so I feel like I understand better what athletes go through. I know the difference between having a medal and not having a medal, what it means to the world.”
“I’m pretty proud of the athlete I was, probably more now than I was before because I understand differently what it means now,”
“Not that long ago, even in Canada, people thought that it was impossible for a girl to snatch a hundred kilos without taking drugs. Well, I showed it. My sample has been tested I am sure many times. It always came clean.”
“I met some lifters that got discouraged because of other countries taking drugs and always feeling that they were behind because of it,” she continued. “It took me 18 years to get on the podium in the Olympics but it was still worth it just to show people that it is possible, so I really hope that’s the message that will be associated to my name, that if we work really hard and we stay at it and we keep going then it is possible.”