Canada has a new Olympic champion after weightlifter Christine Girard was awarded gold from London 2012 on Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee confirmed that she will receive the medal for the 63kg weight class.
The Canadian originally received bronze at London 2012, but the two athletes placed above Girard have both been found positive for doping.
A re-test of samples given by Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan and Russia’s Svetlana Tsarukaeva showed evidence of steroids.
First for Girard
Girard becomes the first ever Canadian woman to win an Olympic weightlifting medal for her country.
The 33-year old is also the first Canadian to win two medals in the sport.
In 2016, Girard was ‘upgraded’ to a bronze medal for the Beijing 2008 Games after initially finishing fourth.
That was due to Kazakhstan’s Irinia Nekrassova being stripped of silver for a positive test.
Christine Girard is an Olympic Champion🥇🏋️♀️
Six years after competing in weightlifting at London 2012, @ch_girard's bronze has officially been upgraded to gold, making her a two-time Olympic medallist. More on her long awaited victory: https://t.co/iNNKDpcUuF#TeamCanada pic.twitter.com/mU3y33eSD5
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) April 19, 2018
“I never doubted for a moment, that I did all I could to win that gold medal,” Girard said on hearing of her award.
“To have my efforts and those of my trainers, family and supporters validated means the world to me, even if it is after six long years.”
Despite – or perhaps because – of the long delay, Girard is savouring the moment:
“This gold medal is a testament to clean sport. It means even more to me now, than had I heard O Canada played that day in London.”
Girard will now prepare for a specially arranged ceremony by the Canadian Olympic Committe (COC) to receive her gold medal, as well as her belated bronze.
“She is a weightlifting trailblazer in so many ways and we are extremely proud of her,” declared COC President Tricia Smith.
“Christine has always lived the values of sport and of competing clean. We are so pleased to see her finally receive the Olympic gold medal which she has so rightfully earned.”