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(Video): Black Girl was overlooked during medal presentation in Ireland

Gymnastics Ireland is embroiled in a racism row after a video showed a young black competitor being skipped over during a medal ceremony as her white peers were each given an award.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion Simone Biles has condemned the ‘heartbreaking’ incident and said she sent a video of support to the young girl after her parents reached out.

The Team USA gymnast was among scores online condemning the actions of the official, writing on X: ‘There is no room for racism in any sport or at all!!!!’

In her video to the young gymnast, Biles said: ‘I wanted to let you know that I saw how you were treated at your GymStart event recently.

‘I was completely shocked and wanted to let you know that you deserve a medal just like all of the other girls.

‘I know you’ve worked incredibly hard at the sport and I wanted to say I am rooting for you from here. Sending you my very best and know that there are so many of us here to support you.’

The video, which was taken in March last year, shows a lineup of young gymnasts awaiting their awards, with the little girl excitedly waiting for her medal before being overlooked.

After reemerged footage of the incident went viral this week, Gymnastics Ireland issued a public apology for the incident, after the girl’s parents said the alleged snub was due to racism, Mail Online reports.

The sporting body claimed the issue had been settled in August, but the young girl’s mother has denied this claiming the family had not received a genuine apology. 

The sports body said it ‘engaged immediately’ with the competitor’s parents following their complaint over the incident.

Speaking a year after the incident, the girl’s mother said the family were ‘very upset’ at how their daughter had been treated by Gymnastics Ireland and that they believe she was ignored because she is black, the Irish Independent reports.

Many have pointed out that the official walked off with the last remaining medal at the end of the clip, with all the children in the lineup receiving one apart from the girl.

Gymnastics Ireland said that it engaged with the woman, who is now no longer a member of the sporting body after she chose not to renew her membership.

They claim that the issue had been settled following a mediation that concluded in August but this is denied by the mother. 

They said she ‘accepted fully that what had happened had not been acceptable but stressed that it had not been intentional’.

‘The official concerned said that upon realising the mistake they immediately rectified it and ensured that the competitor concerned was presented with her medal before she left the Field of Play (FoP).

‘The official also expressed deep regret for what they described as an honest error and requested the opportunity to apologise in person to the competitor and her family. This request was initially declined.

‘A written apology provided by the identified individual has since been issued to the competitor and her family.’

The statement went on: ‘Initially we attempted to address the matter through the informal process of our discipline and complaints policy.

‘However, following a series of communications with the parents they informed Gymnastics Ireland that they would not be engaging in the process and were seeking legal advice.’

Footage of the presentation in Dublin in March 2022 has since gone viral online.

Gymnastics Ireland was contacted by the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF) last summer, which informed it that it had been contacted regarding the complaint.

‘We remained engaged with the GEF through the autumn and winter months during which time our internal process was suspended,’ said Gymnastics Ireland. ‘In February, we agreed to resume internally and proceed to the next stage of our process.’

Olympic silver medallist, USA team member Jordan Chiles, also labelled the incident ‘beyond hurtful on so many levels’.

She indicated that she also wanted to get in touch with the young sports star, asking the gymnastics community to help identify her.

After it resurfaced, the clip was slammed by X users as ‘disgraceful’ and ‘hard to watch’.

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