To anyone who follows the world of Olympic competition, corruption and cheating scandals are the things you can expect to hear about on any day that ends with a "y". Whether it's Paris: 2024 already becoming the THIRD straight summer games to be accused of corruption. Or much, much worse, the Russian doping scandal that rocked the figure skating events at Beijing: 2022:
Still, Team USA managed to rise above all that petty blood doping and PED masking, test clean, represent the good old U.S. of A. in a positive light, and make us be the bigger country:
And all they asked in return, was to receive the medals they so honorably earned. But the International Olympic Committee had other plans:
Source - U.S. ice dancers Evan Bates and Madison Chock remember the empty feeling as they trod back to their rooms in Beijing, not long after being told that the ceremony to present their Olympic medals had been called off.
Before going to sleep, one final blow: On their beds sat empty black-and-gold boxes, with notes inside signed from IOC President Thomas Bach. “An Olympic medal is forever,” the note began. The boxes were supposed to be the perfect spot for the skaters to place the medals they never received.
Five-hundred days later, the medals remain somewhere in storage because of yet another sordid and as-yet-unresolved doping case to come out of Russia. The nine empty boxes, one belonging to each U.S. skater who finished second in the Olympic team event, are now sitting under glass as part of an exhibit at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum that opened Thursday to commemorate the 500 days since the medals ceremony in Beijing was abruptly canceled.
“As the time has gone by, it almost feels like it didn’t happen at times,” Chock said. “And when we think about it, it’s hard not to get emotional and just feel kind of sad about the whole situation, and how it’s turned out and how long it’s taking to be handled.”
In an unprecedented move, Olympic officials decided not to award medals at the games after news that 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, who had led Russia to a first-place finish, had tested positive for a performance enhancer months earlier.
That case has been subject to anti-doping and legal hearings in Beijing, Russia and Switzerland. … [I]t could be pushing two years before the Americans receive their medals, whether they be silver or gold.
For the most part, the residuals that often stem from an athlete’s Olympic moment have not come their way either. For most of the skaters, the prospect of media tours, post-Olympic shows, sponsorships and the like have been waylaid. Most are well aware that many moments that were supposed to feel celebratory would eventually lead back to the same query: “Where’s your medal?”
I stand by my lifelong record as a man of peace. I've always stood by the principle that war is a thing to be avoided until all other avenues have been exhausted. But the talking has gone on long enough. Two more years of this is intolerable. It's an international o outrage. Our skaters earned their gold, silver and bronze fair and square. To ask them to go another day - never mind two years - because of something Kamila Valieva did, or was forced to do by the Russian Olympic team, is unconscionable. As Carl von Clausewitz famously put it, "War is the continuation of policy by other means." And our policy hasn't spared Evan Bates and Madison Chock from having to answer questions about why they don't have medals.
After all, this isn't some border dispute on some far off land you have to be a Jeopardy! champion to find on a map. This is about America's most precious resources. National pride. Sports. Residuals. Media tours. Post-Olympic shows. Sponsorships. And … the like. If you want that Wheaties cover, that spot on Dancing with the Stars or that headlining gig on Stars on Ice, you need that hardware. Not a box with a note from some crooked kleptocrat. If we have to rattle the saber some, or send over the USAF Strategic Bomber Command, or even go full Oppenheimer on these thieves? Well, if Olympic skating isn't a cause worth fighting for, than I defy you to name one that is.
If it doesn't get resolved immediately, if medals aren't being put around victorious necks in the next few days, this means war. If no one else is with me? I'll go it alone. Chock is willing to represent her country:
And so am I. You have made a very powerful enemy, IOC. Fix this, or else. You've been warned.