Simone Biles Irate at Video of Black Gymnast Who Passed Over For a Medal in Ireland Competition

At a gymnastics competition in Ireland, a Black girl was the only gymnast not to receive a medal.

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles has expressed her outrage at the viral footage of a young Black girl who was passed over for a medal at a gymnastics ceremony in Ireland, CNN reports.

The video which took place at a Gymstart event in March 2022, shows medals being handed out to several girls in a line but the only Black girl did not receive a medal which left the child confused and distraught. The clip has been viewed more than 40 million times.

“When this video was circulating, her parents reached out,” Biles said on X, formerly Twitter. “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.”

Responding to the incident on Monday (Sept. 25), Gymnastics Ireland released an apology where they condemned all forms of racism.

“On behalf of the Board and staff of Gymnastics Ireland, we would like to unreservedly apologize to the gymnast and her family for the upset that has been caused by the incident at the GymStart event in March 2022. What happened on the day should not have happened and for that, we are deeply sorry, the statement read. We are also sorry that what has happened since that date has caused further upset.

“Please know that at all times we have been acting in good faith and with the best of intentions in trying to resolve this very difficult and sensitive matter,” the statement went on. “We offered an in-person apology after the incident as we believed this was the best approach. Subsequently, we felt mediation was the best way forward.

After the fallout from the viral video, the organization pledged to do more to ensure that another incident like this will not happen again.

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“We know now we need to do more. We are committed to ensuring nothing like this will happen again. We appointed an independent expert to review our policies and procedures earlier this year and a series of recommendations have resulted which we are fully committed to implementing so that this does not ever happen again,” the statement continued. “We would also like to engage with the gymnast's family and Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) to listen to any suggestions they have as to how our procedures can be improved in this regard.

Gymnastics Ireland said the gymnast who was overlooked has participated in events since the incident and is welcome to compete in upcoming events.

“We are happy to see that the gymnast continues to participate in Gymnastics Ireland events and we look forward to welcoming her back to our future events also,” the group said, while condemning all forms of racism. “Finally, we would like to make it absolutely clear that Gymnastics Ireland condemns any form of racism whatsoever.”

In an interview with The Guardian, the gymnast’s mother, whose name was not revealed to protect the child and her family from online racist attacks, said that Gymnastics Ireland did not offer an apology until the video went viral. Additionally, the family said that officials from the organization described the incident as a “personal dispute” and not an institutional problem.

“It’s unbelievable that you treat a little girl this way,” she said. “It’s a system problem because when you don’t speak out, the message is that you are happy for it to go away.”

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