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U.S. Gymnasts Get Medals, 10 Years Later

3:00 PM, Aug 12, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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I always like it when we can notch a win for the non-cheaters, even if it is 10 years too late. Earlier this spring, the International Olympic Committee disqualified the 2000 Chinese women's Olympic team for having an underaged competitor. China placed third in the Sydney Olympics, with the American women coming in fourth.

At a ceremony in Connecticut Wednesday, the American girls finally got their bronze medals. The Washington Post pulls together a short where-are-they-now on the team led by Dominique Dawes:

Dawes, 33; Ray, 28; Hollywood stunt double Tasha Schwikert, 25; pediatrician Amy Chow, 32; club coach Jamie Dantzscher, 28; and preschool teacher Kristin Maloney, 29; then piled gleefully onto a bus parked outside the Hartford arena that is the site of this year's U.S. gymnastics championships.

The disqualification of a Chinese gymnast from the 2000 Olympics came as a result of suspicions about the ages of China's 2008 competitors, who beat the U.S. team to take gold. Gymnastics' governing body  found no wrongdoing in that case, but looked again into allegations about a 2000 gymnast:

As they pursued those claims last fall, officials decided to take another look at allegations surrounding the ages of two Chinese gymnasts from Sydney.

One, Dong Fangxiao, had worked as a national technical official in Beijing. On her accreditation information, she listed her date of birth as Jan. 23, 1986 - which would have made her 14 and underage at the Sydney Games. FIG nullified her results in February and recommended that the IOC rescind China's medals. That happened April 29.

It was the fourth Olympic medal for Dawes, who at 23, was a seasoned leader of the 2000 team. Dawes now serves as a presidential appointee on health and fitness issues. MSNBC has a photo of the girls, all grown up.

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