Olympic champion Christine Girard receives re-allocated medals in an emotional ceremony

The Canadian weightlifter was given London 2012 gold in addition to Beijing 2008 bronze in a special ceremony.

Ten years is a long time to wait to receive an Olympic medal.

Six years is a long time to wait to receive an Olympic gold.

For Canada's Christine Girard, both waits are finally over. At a special ceremony on Monday at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa she was awarded her re-allocated medals in weightlifting — gold from London 2012 and bronze from Beijing 2008.

In that time, she's retired from her sport and given birth to three children who witnessed the ocassion.

Speaking to the Olympic Channel, for the documentary series 'Take the Podium', Girard said, ''It's such an exciting day. It was amazing. I've been thinking about that moment for a while now. It's a great day.''

"The surprise happened two years ago. It's just so much emotion and I'm really proud to be able to be here today and receive this, not only in my name but for my family, my friends that supported me and for Canada.''

After acknowledging family, coaches, training partners and friends she praised her country's continued fight for a clean sport.

''Overall, I have to thank my country because years ago our country decided to believe in clean sport and put everything in place to make that happen and I grew up in a country, even doing weightlifting and I never got offered any drugs or anything and I think we have to be proud of that. I've been tested since I was 14 years old. We have clean athletes. We are good on an international level because we know how to work hard.''

Canadian weightlifter Christine Girard receives her re-allocated Olympic medals with her three children.
Canadian weightlifter Christine Girard receives her re-allocated Olympic medals with her three children.Canadian weightlifter Christine Girard receives her re-allocated Olympic medals with her three children.

Re-testing

In both cases, athletes finishing ahead of Girard were disqualified following re-testing of their stored doping control samples from the Games.

Kazakh Irina Nekrassova, who originally placed second in Beijing while Girard was fourth in the women's -63 kg category, was stripped of her silver medal in November 2016, moving the Canadian weightlifter up to bronze.

In the same weight class at the Games four years later in London, Nekrassova's compatriot Maya Maneza initially claimed gold, and Russia's Svetlana Tsarukaeva took silver behind her. Both were also disqualified.

In April this year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed Girard, now 33, was the rightful winner of the London 2012 gold medal.

'Testament to clean sport'

Speaking in April after the IOC's announcement, Girard said: "I never doubted for a moment that I did all that I could do to win that gold medal.

"To have my efforts and those of my trainers, family and supporters validated, means the world to me, even if it is after six long years."

"This gold medal is a testament to clean sport. It means even more to me now, than had I heard O Canada played that day in London."

The native of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, is the only Canadian to have won multiple Olympic medals in her sport, and the first Olympic weightlifting champion from Canada.

'Finally confirmed'

Girard will receive both her medals from the IOC and Canadian Olympic Committee at the National Arts Centre in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, on Monday.

Speaking to French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada about the ceremony, she said: "I'll have the chance to experience the rewards with my family, but also with my three children, who did not exist when I deserved these medals.

"But I think this brings a different message, and this message makes me really proud. So I'll focus on that above everything."

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