Gymnastics Ireland has apologized for an incident that occurred in March 2022, where a video of a black athlete being overlooked during a medal ceremony went viral on social media. The sports governing body issued a statement expressing their deep regret for what had transpired and acknowledged the subsequent upset caused. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles also spoke out about the incident, expressing her disappointment.
According to Gymnastics Ireland, the individual responsible for handing out the medals claimed that skipping over the young girl was unintentional. They accepted that the mistake was unacceptable but emphasized that it was not intentional. They rectified the error as soon as they realized it and made sure the athlete received her medal before leaving the Field of Play. The official initially intended to apologize in person, but their request was denied, so they later sent an apology letter.
Gymnastics Ireland stated that they have been acting in good faith and with the best intentions throughout this matter. They initially planned to offer an in-person apology but later sought mediation for resolution. They acknowledged that more needs to be done to prevent similar incidents from occurring again. The organization appointed an independent expert to review their policies and procedures, resulting in a set of recommendations that they fully commit to implementing.
Although Gymnastics Ireland did not provide further details about the implemented recommendations, they did condemn all forms of racism. Simone Biles was made aware of the video and reached out to the family. She expressed how deeply saddened she was by the incident and emphasized that there is no place for racism in any sport or in society as a whole.