The International Olympic Committee (IOC) notified the United States Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field on Monday that distance runner Shalane Flanagan has been upgraded to the silver medal for the 10,000-meter race she ran at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
In March 2017, Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey, who was the original silver medalist in the 2008 Olympic Games, was disqualified after she tested positive for a banned substance in a retest of a sample she had provided in 2007. Previously owned by Flanagan, the 2008 bronze medal has been returned to the IOC.
“The U.S. Olympic Committee would like to extend its congratulations to Shalane for her outstanding performance in Beijing,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun in the press release. “As one of our country’s most decorated distance runners, we commend her for her success on the field of play, as well as her conduct off the field of play. She epitomizes the Olympic values with her integrity, sportsmanship and unwavering dedication to competitive excellence. On behalf of athletes like Shalane, the USOC is committed to working tirelessly with the global Olympic Movement to help reform international anti-doping efforts.”
This upgrade makes Flanagan the highest-placed American woman in Olympic history.
— NBC OlympicTalk (@NBCOlympicTalk) August 21, 2017
“Shalane has set the highest standard for American athletes for more than a decade,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said in the press release. “Her fierce competitiveness and athletic accomplishments are matched by her integrity, professionalism and her care for our sport as a whole. USATF congratulates Shalane on her richly deserved Olympic silver medal.”
The four-time Olympian most recently participated in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio last year. Her accolades include an American record in the indoor 3,000- and 5,000-meter. She is also a five-time USATF outdoor champion, as well as cross-country champion.
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“Receiving my proper medal and having the record books changed is a dream come true,” Flanagan said in the press release. “I greatly appreciate the USOC’s efforts to host a more formal medal ceremony in my honor, but with my coach and my family, I have decided to forego that option and instead celebrate in private. This news, and receiving my medal, are all that I need to feel incredibly fulfilled and happy. I’m honored and proud to officially be the 2008 10,000-meter silver medalist.”