Simone Biles was left furious after a black gymnast appeared to have been skipped during a medal ceremony. The incident took place back in Dublin in March 2022 at a GymStart event, but the clip has recently resurfaced on social media.
In the clip, a group of young gymnasts were queuing up, patiently waiting to receive their hard-earned medals – but the official handing out the awards missed a black girl. Biles, 26, saw the clip on social media and was left outraged by what had transpired and voiced her frustrations.
“When this video was circulating, her parents reached out,” she wrote. “It broke my heart to see, so I sent her a little video. There is no room for racism in any sport or at all!!!!”
The four-time Olympic champion didn’t stop there as she proceeded to post a video speaking out on what she had witnessed. Addressing the black girl who had been skipped at the medal ceremony, 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.”
According to the Irish Independent on Sunday, the young girl’s mother believed the daughter was skipped during the ceremony because she is black. She blasted Gymnastics Ireland by claiming they had yet to issue a public apology after what took place.
“We are often the only black family at gymnastics events and this has been very hurtful for us,” the mother told the newspaper. “Now eight million people have seen the video. From Pakistan to Ethiopia they can see this was wrong but Gymnastics Ireland still can’t accept it and say sorry.”
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She added that her family would be taking the issue to the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation in Switzerland, which prompted a response from Gymnastics Ireland. Their statement read: “We identified the official concerned and informed the individual in question of the complaint.
“The official in question 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.
“The official also expressed deep regret for what they described as an honest error and requested the opportunity to apologize 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.”
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