US Skaters Get Olympic Bronze 50 Years Late

IOC finally adds Josephs to record books
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2014 3:01 AM CST
US Skaters Get Olympic Bronze 50 Years Late
Vivian and Ronald Joseph are finally official bronze medalists from 1964.   (JoAnn Schneider Farris)

There's no Olympics this winter, but the US still managed to claim two bronze medals in figure skating yesterday—from the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics. Siblings Vivian and Ronald Joseph came in fourth place in pairs figure skating but were given bronze medals a couple of years later after the West German pair who won silver were disqualified for signing a professional contract before the Games, violating then-strict rules about amateurism, the Chicago Tribune reports. The Canadian pair who had won bronze were awarded silver—but the German pair were reawarded their silvers by the International Olympic Committee in 1987, and it later emerged that the Americans had never made it into the official record books as medalists.

US Figure Skating—along with US and Canadian Olympic associations—urged the IOC to clear up the confusion after it was highlighted by a New York Times story last year, and the records were finally changed yesterday to show that the Josephs were bronze medalists and the Canadians and Germans both won the silver; a Soviet pair won gold. "I am ecstatic," says Vivian Joseph, who's now 66. "I am sorry it wasn't done sooner, but I am happy it is finally done." She says that after somebody she met at a party years ago looked at the records and disputed her claim to be an Olympic medalist, she stopped talking about the medal in case she was accused of lying. "It's very strange, isn't it," says her 70-year-old brother, now an orthopedic surgeon. "This is typical of the politics of sport." (Read more Olympics stories.)

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