A video in which a Black girl was not given a medal at an Irish gymnastics event caught the eye of Simone Biles.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist said she was in contact with the family of the girl after seeing the video, which “broke [her] heart.”
The clip is from a March 2022 medal ceremony at a Gymstart event in Dublin. The Black girl was the only gymnast in a line of several that did not receive a medal.
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A user on X, formerly Twitter, tagged Biles, saying “I would love to see @Simone_Biles reach out to this girl if she’s able.”
Biles seemed to hint that she had seen the video before, because she said the family reached out to her “when this video was circulating.”
“It broke my heart to see, so I sent her a little video,” Biles replied with a heart emoji.
“There is no room for racism in any sport or at all !!!!” she added.
Gymnastics Ireland says they received a complaint from the parents of “one of our members” and a “resolution” was reached last month.
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“We are aware of a video that has been posted on social media relating to an incident that took place over 18 months ago at a GymSTART event in March 2022 for which we received a complaint from the parents of one of our members,” the federation said in a statement on Friday. “Subsequently both parties agreed to enter mediation which was independently facilitated by Sports Disputes Solutions Ireland as per our policy/procedure which led to a resolution agreed by both parties in August 2023.”
Jordan Chiles, another U.S. Olympian, asked the “Gymternet” to “find this little girl.”
“This is beyond hurtful on so many levels, I need you guys to find her pls… asap,” Chiles wrote on X.
Gymnastics Ireland says they “investigated the matter.”
“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 (realizing) the mistake they immediately rectified it and ensured that the competitor concerned was presented with her medal before she left the Field of Play,” Gymnastics Ireland said.
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“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.”