Photo: JOHN G. MABANGLO / EPA
Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles has shown solidarity with a young black athlete from Ireland who was passed over during an award ceremony. "It broke my heart to see this, so I sent her a little video," the 26-year-old four-time Olympic champion from the United States wrote in a comment on X, the former Twitter. "There is no place for racism, no matter what sport or at all."
In the past few days, a video of a gymnastics competition in Ireland from March 2022, which has now been viewed millions of times, has been shared on social media. In it, a young black athlete can be seen happily waiting for a medal to be hung around her neck.
The official responsible for this was already standing in front of the girl with the medal, but then put it around the neck of her right neighbor and continued the ceremony without coming back to the girl.
The parents of the girl concerned and friends had made the case public. The mother told the Independent newspaper that she and her partner were very disappointed with how her daughter had been treated by the Irish Gymnastics Federation.
They believed that their daughter had been ignored at the ceremony because of her skin color. They would still be waiting for a public apology from the association.
Gymnastics Ireland, on the other hand, said that the official in charge had expressed her deepest regret and described her behaviour as an honest mistake. She had asked for the opportunity to apologize to the participant and her family. This request was initially rejected.
According to the association, immediately after noticing the mistake, the functionary made sure that the girl was presented with the medal even before leaving the interior.