Christine Girard was shocked after learning she would be awarded two Olympic weightlifting medals, one of them gold, following the disqualifications of doping athletes at the Olympic Games 2008 and 2012.
The Canadian finished fourth at Beijing 2008, after which she suffered burnout and depression, only for her determination to become her country’s first female Olympic weightlifting medallist to drive her on for four more years. A decision that was vindicated when she claimed bronze at London 2012.
However, in June and July 2016 it was announced that Beijing gold and silver medallists Maya Maneza, of Kazakhstan, and Russian Svetlana Tsarvkaeva had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs after their samples were re-analysed. It then emerged a month later that Irina Nakrassova, also of Kazakhstan, who had won silver in 2008, had also tested positive.
It was shocking news for Girard, who said: “When I learned that it should have been different, it was like I lived through a lie.”
She received her gold and bronze medals in December 2018 in a ceremony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
The International Olympic Committee introduced the Olympic Medal Reallocation Ceremony in May 2018 to award clean athletes with their rightful medal following the disqualification of athletes who have committed doping violations.
Clean athletes who have received reallocated medals are the subject of Take The Podium, a six-episode series on the Olympic Channel. As well as showing the medal reallocation ceremonies, the series will also feature athletes sharing the impact the process has had on their lives after they were denied their special moment on the podium.