6 NOVEMBER 2019
Take the Podium</em> will give a voice and an audience to those who have previously been denied their rightful medal ceremonies.
This follows an IOC Athletes’ Commission initiative that gave athletes the opportunity to choose their own reallocation ceremony.
Six episodes of the series will be available to watch on the Olympic Channel.
Clean athletes who were awarded their rightful Olympic medal following the disqualification of doped athletes will be featured in a new Olympic Channel original series Take the Podium. Each episode highlights an Olympic Medal Reallocation ceremony and profiles the path to redemption for those athletes who were originally denied their special moment on the podium. The six-episode series premieres worldwide on 6 November on the Olympic Channel global digital platform and will be available at olympicchannel.com, its mobile apps and on connected TV devices.
Told through the perspective of the athletes and teams, Take the Podium details the impact that the medal reallocation process has had on their personal lives and athletic careers. Profiles in the series include those of Canadian weightlifter Christine Girard, Lithuanian heptathlete Austra Skujyte, the 2008 Japanese 4x100m men’s relay team, German hammer thrower Betty Heidler, British javelin thrower Goldie Sayers and the 2014 USA two-man and four-man bobsleigh teams.
Designed by athletes, for athletes
In May 2018, upon the recommendation from the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC), the IOC introduced the Olympic Medal Reallocation Ceremony in efforts to recognise the achievements of clean athletes. Following disqualifications due to doping, the Olympic Medal Reallocation Ceremony Principles provide athletes with six options to receive their medal(s) to celebrate their achievements; at an Olympic Games, Youth Olympic Games, by the International Federation or their National Olympic Committee, a ceremony at the Olympic Museum, or at a private ceremony.
“I can only imagine the disappointment of athletes who have had their special moment taken away due to cheating,” said IOC AC Chair Kirsty Coventry. “Medal reallocation ceremonies are very important for fair sport, for clean sport, for the athletes, and being able to reward athletes who have embodied these values is very important.”
Prior to the recommendation of the IOC AC, there was no standardised reallocation process with athletes receiving medals at home or at the offices of their NOC with little or no publicity. The athlete voice has therefore been pivotal to ensuring that the special moment is restored.
“It’s very moving to see these athletes finally recognised for their Olympic achievements,” said IOC AC Vice-Chair Danka Bartekova. “Their stories have and continue to inspire many people around the world. Now that justice is served, it is fantastic to see that clean athletes are honoured and celebrated in a meaningful way.”
Watch the series on the Olympic Channel from 6 November