In what could best be described as a long time coming, -63kg Canadian weightlifter Christine Garard can finally call herself an Olympic Champion. Girard will be awarded gold in the 63kg weight class from the London 2012 summer Olympics.
Yesterday, CBC Sports Canada reported that the IOC has confirmed that Girard would be awarded the gold medal after the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Summer Olympics prohibited substance retest failures. In 2012, Girard initially finished third in her weight class behind Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan and Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia.
Maneza and Tsarukaeva both failed retests, and Girard first got wind of the situation back in the summer of 2016. This gold makes Girard the first ever Canadian female athlete to win gold weightlifting, and only that country’s third female athlete overall to medal in weightlifting.
This marks the second time Girard has been moved up in Olympic medal placings due to drug retests failures from fellow competitors. Girard initially finished in fourth and was moved to third at the Beijing 2008 summer Olympics, then at the London 2012 Olympics she finally landed on the podium in third.
At the London 2012 Olympics, Girard originally earned fourth in the snatch with a 103kg first attempt and second in the clean & jerk with a 133kg second attempt, which put her third overall with a total of 236kg.
After she earned bronze in 2012 Girard went on the record telling The Toronto Star, “It is very hard to describe how I feel. Four years ago in Beijing I came fourth, and since then I have spent the past four years training through injuries and various changes in my life to get to this moment. All I have been thinking about is getting on the podium. Now I have reached it. It feels good.’’
At the time of the quote, Girard was ecstatic about her placing. Now, almost two years later, Girard can reap the joys of being an Olympic champion.
Feature image from RadioCanada Manitoba YouTube channel.