Beckie Scott finally receives silver medal for Olympic pursuit

Beckie Scott finally receives silver medal for Olympic pursuitBeckie Scott, the first North American woman cross-country ski racer to earn an Olympic medal, was honored in Calgary, Alberta, on October 21 as she received an upgrade to the Olympic silver medal for the 2002 Olympic pursuit event.

Scott, who married three-time U.S. Olympian Justin Wadsworth this summer, originally finished third in the event, held February 15, 2002, at Soldier Hollow, but Russian Larissa Lazhutina later was declared ineligible for the Olympics because she had tested positive for a banned substance in December 2001.

The International Ski Federation listed Scott on its web site as a silver medalist behind Olga Danilova, another Russian (who was caught at the end of the Games using a banned drug, too) for more than a year; the International Olympic Committee ruled this summer that Scott was at least the true silver medalist.

She had returned her Olympic bronze medal to the IOC during the summer. The upgrade ceremony, which took place before hundreds at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park, was organized by Cross Country Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Calgary Olympic Development Association. Meanwhile, Canadian officials are continuing their fight to see Scott upgraded to gold medalist.

Noting she was “extremely honored” by the ceremony, Scott said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate this sporting achievement again.” Michael Chambers, chairman of the Canadian Olympic Committee, called it “long-overdue recognition for her exceptional performance. …[It’s] a step in the right direction, but we will continue to hope for golden news, which we feel she rightfully deserves.”

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