B.C. shot putter Dylan Armstrong receives Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medal

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dylan armstrong bronze medal

It was a bit of a wait for B.C. shot putter Dylan Armstrong, who finally received his well-deserved bronze medal from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on Sunday.

Six and a half years after the fact, the Kamloops resident, now 34, is now the only Canadian to win a medal in the Olympic event. At Beijing’s Bird Nest on Day 7 of the Games in front of a crowd of 91,000 spectators, he missed the podium by a mere centimetre, finishing in fourth place.

However, in 2013, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that Belarus shot putter Andrei Mikhnevich, who won third place in Beijing, would receive a lifetime ban from international competition for a doping violation in 2006 – his second offence. It also meant he would forfeit all of his medals and his results from 2006 to 2013 would be wiped out.

Mikhnevich was forced to return his bronze medal to the IOC, and in August 2014 it was confirmed that Armstrong would be awarded a third-place result in the 2008 Games.

Sunday’s bronze medal ceremony at Kamloops’ Tournament Capital Centre, where Armstrong also trains, was attended by a full house of about 700 people. Four-time Canadian Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser, a member of the IOC’s Athlete’s Commission, delivered the ceremony and placed the medal around Armstrong’s neck.

“During this Year of Sport in Canada, today’s awarding of Dylan’s well-deserved bronze medal reminds us once again that Canada is a leading sport nation. Our Government is proud to support our athletes with the tools they need to reach the podium at every possible opportunity,” said Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).

“Dylan’s Olympic medal also reminds us that honesty and fair play are eventually rewarded. Our athletes are a tremendous source of pride and inspiration, and they demonstrate their incredible talent, drive, determination and strength time and again in international competition.”

This is Armstrong’s greatest career finish to date. He placed fifth at the London 2012 Olympics after experiencing issues with his elbow.

In December 2014, he underwent elbow surgery, but it is not known when he will return to competition in 2015, particularly whether he will qualify for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games held in July. He intends on competing at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games.

 

Feature Image: Canadian Olympic Team

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