Calls for racial sensitvity in sports following young girl’s exclusion at Gynmastics medal ceremony

A video of a young black girl being snubbed at a gymnastics medal ceremony in March 2022 went viral last week and has prompted Gymnastics Ireland to offer an apology.

The video, which emerged only last week amidst a viral wave, was taken in March 2022 and shows a young girl lining up to receive a medal for her efforts in a gymnastics event. However, the person handing out the medals skips the girl in the line.

The resurfacing of the video has prompted an international conversation regarding racism in sports, and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also added to it by calling the incident “very sad” and that there is no place for racism in sport or anywhere else in our society. He also stated that the Minister for Sport had reached out to the family of the girl.

The girl’s mother, speaking to RTÉ radio one, said “Do you know when something happens, and you think, and you just rewind, and you say, ‘Did that just happen?’ It was horrendous,”

“It took so much strength trying to explain why she shouldn’t feel otherwise, trying to bring back the confidence.”

“To be honest, we keep supporting her. It did knock her confidence. She is the only black child competing in the competition and that happens. It is horrendous.”

Gymnastics Ireland have apologised both publicly and personally to the young girl and her family, stating that the official handing out the awards “cried” when they found out that they had skipped the young athlete.

Gymnastics Ireland have also stated that they wish to listen to the child’s family while also engaging with Sports Against Racism Ireland in order to ensure that something like this never happens again.

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