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via Reuters

On Monday, the 26th January, the US figure skating athletes learned that they were going to be named the 2022 Olympic gold medalists. Following 2-years of waiting on Kamila Valieva’s doping case hearing, the industry had 9 new champions on the table. However, while the news carried a definite elation for winners and the sporting community, as per Vincent Zhou it did not exactly carry rainbows and butterflies.

In December 2021, Russian figure skating name, Kamila Valieva tested positive for a banned substance. The result further affected the decisions of the Beijing Olympics winners, placing athletes in the dark. The journey from then to the final announcement has evoked mixed emotions, reveals US figure skater Vincent Zhou.

Figure skating star recalls horrors on the path

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Vincent Zhou, the 20-year-old figure skating fame has often been vocal on fairness and integrity in sports. “Global anti-doping system is failing athletes,” he had remarked last year. Thus today, as he recalled his Olympic days, Zhou stated how winning lost its meaning when the ‘values are overlooked’. “Looking through photos from the 2022 Olympics has been difficult, not only due to the lack thereof (for obvious reasons) but also due to various memories they unearthed,” he started. Zhou further added that the time since the Olympics has been a rollercoaster incurring emotions of lost hope.

 

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“Having spent the last two years in this strange limbo where up was down, truth was ridiculed, and silence fell upon our dreams like the foggy morning after a storm, I had begun to lose hope,” he adds. Being in the public eye came with its own scrutiny for the athletes’ rising voices, says Zhou.

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Nonetheless, he stood on. In the hopes of truth and the ‘axiom that the Olympics exists on the basis of fair and clean competition’. Now having found the truth he was fetching for, Zhou and the US figure skating team will be honored with the medals.

A wait for the closure

On Monday, the CAS announced that Kamila Valieva was put on ban for a period of 4 years. The decision meant the dismissal of all competitive results from December 2021 to December 2025. In the process, the US figure skating athletes claimed their gold but an honorary ceremony still awaits. The US athletes were handed empty boxes in 2022 that were supposed to contain the medals. It has thus been a long road of emptiness often defying the hard work validation for athletes.

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Also Read: Kamila Valieva Doping Case: US Star Nathan Chen Calls It ‘A Win for No One’

In order to make up and reverse, the USOPC said that it was in search of a suitable location to hand out the medals. With figure skating World Championships taking place in Montreal in March, it poses a speculative place for the honoring ceremony.