“Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott was ecstatic with her 2002 Olympic bronze medal, the first won by a North American woman in that sport. Yet she watched the Russian flag rise with a fatalism about her opponents’ improbable performances that had been “part of my psyche for years,” she said. She eventually was awarded the silver and then the gold.
Delayed medals never quite add up to full gratification for athletes. Instead, they symbolize the butterfly effect of an altered trajectory. The difference between gold and silver alone can swell to seven figures over a career. Prize money can sometimes be restored, but that’s generally a pittance compared to the contractual and commercial opportunities that vanish, impossible to re-create. And there’s no way to reconstitute the pomp and emotion of the moment.”
This is true. Let’s face it, we only pay attention to most Olympic sports every 4 years, during the Olympics. How many of us are even aware that so many gold medals have been stripped and awarded to other competitors? I mean, unless the issuance of the new medals takes place during the Olympic broadcast, we have no idea it’s happening. These “winners” have had their moment of glory completely stolen, and that’s the real damage that PEDS does to sports.
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