A second bronze medal will be awarded in the Beijing Olympic women’s ski cross race, 10 months after it took place.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced that Swiss Fanny Smith, the bronze medalist according to the International Ski Federation, and German Daniela Maier, the bronze medalist according to the International Olympic Committee, agreed, along with their federations, to share third place.
The IOC agreed to allocate two bronze medals, according to CAS. Sandra Näslund of Sweden took gold, and Marielle Thompson of Canada is the silver medalist.
Originally, Smith crossed the finish line in third place in the four-woman final at the Winter Games in February. Upon review by the International Ski Federation (FIS) jury, she was minutes later demoted to fourth place after making contact with Maier near the end of the course. Maier, who originally was fourth, was upgraded to bronze.
“I tried to be OK with the fourth place. I was very disappointed, I have to say, [then] the jury was like this,” Maier said then. “I am really sorry for Fanny that it’s like this right now. … The jury decided like this, so accept it and be happy with the medal.”
Smith and the Swiss ski federation appealed. FIS reinstated Smith as the bronze medalist nine days after the race and six days after the Closing Ceremony. A FIS appeals commission met four times and reviewed video and written documentation for several hours before deciding that “the close proximity of the racers at that moment resulted in action that was neither intentional or avoidable.”
But that wasn’t the end. The case — Maier and the German ski federation vs. Smith, the Swiss ski federation and FIS — ended up going to CAS, whose rulings are usually accepted as final, before the parties reached a settlement.
Maier still has the bronze medal at her home and said recently enjoys looking at it, according to German media. Smith and Maier spoke extensively about it in recent training sessions and cleared things up. Maier said the best outcome would be bronze medals for both of them, according to the German report.
Shared or duplicate Olympic medals are rare outside of ties in time- and points-based events and combat sports that award two bronze medals.
The most significant case in recent memory was the 2002 Olympic pairs’ figure skating judging scandal that resulted in Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier being elevated to co-gold medalists with Russians Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.
This is the first shared Olympic medal in freestyle skiing history.
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