The video stirred the entire Internet, beyond Ireland's borders. Images that date from March 2022 and show young gymnasts at the end of a competition in Dublin (Ireland), receiving a medal from an official of the organization... All except a young black girl who continues to smile to the applause of the audience, hoping to get her reward too. The footage, published more than a year ago on the Web, had gone almost unnoticed. Except that in recent days, a user has reposted it. And there, in a few hours, thousands of people are indignant. The video, shared widely on social networks, is even relayed by high-level athletes. Among them, American Simone Biles, considered one of the best athletes in the world, said she was "heartbroken" when she saw these images. On her X account, she says she sent a video of support to the young gymnast deprived of medal.
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Faced with the controversy, on September 22, the Irish Gymnastics Federation published a statement to explain. The organization returned to the incident and said that the family of the young gymnast had filed a complaint just after the competition. Mediation was then held between the two parties. The official who had distributed the medals in the video would have even apologized for this "oversight". The Irish Federation also claims that the young gymnast did receive a medal that day, but just after, when she left the field.
In the newspaper The Guardian, the mother of the "forgotten" girl, however, points to the late response of the Federation and questions its lack of position in the fight against racism. "It's worthless to me because they don't talk about racism and safety," she says. I would like to hear them say that the next black child who will do gymnastics will be safe. This is not the case." The Irish sports organization issued a second statement to reiterate its apologies to the family.