The mother of a Black competitor who was apparently snubbed during a medal ceremony at a Gymnastics Ireland event in March 2022 says the apology the family received only this week is "almost useless."

"[The apology is] almost useless," the competitor's mother told BBC News this week.

"There was no empathy shown, I feel like it's not true.

"It's been 18 months and it seems like they were pressured to give me an apology.

"I cried for so long and then millions of people cried with me before I could get this."

Footage from a GymStart event in Dublin in March 2022 has gone viral after being reshared on social media around September 22.

The video shows a line of competitors being given participation medals, but the presenter passes by the only Black competitor in the line and does not give her a medal.

After being reshared on social media, the incident has been widely condemned and prompted responses from around the world, including from US Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles.

The girl's mother now tells BBC News that watching the incident play out was "unbelievable."

"I didn't believe in this day and time that this could happen," she said.

"It is painful to actually state the obvious - my daughter was the only Black child in that competition, she stood out well, there was no excuse for what happened. She felt very upset about what happened.

"It was almost as if though they blamed her for being Black. It's something very uncomfortable for a 10-year-old to go through."

She continued: “They [Gymnasitcs Ireland] only sent us an apology because the world wanted them to.

“We cried for so long.

“We have told her, regardless of your skin color, people shouldn’t treat you differently.”

'It's as if they blamed my daughter for being black.'

The mother of the young girl at the centre of a viral video - in which she is the only child not given a medal at a gymnastics event - spoke to the BBC's @stephhegarty

— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) September 29, 2023

On September 22, Gymnastics Ireland said in a statement it was aware of the video circulating on social media.

After the girl's parents lodged a complaint after the incident in March 2022, Gymnastics Ireland said "both parties agreed to enter mediation which was independently facilitated by Sports Disputes Solutions Ireland as per our policy/procedure which led to a resolution agreed by both parties in August 2023."

The statement added: "We identified the official concerned and informed the individual in question of the complaint.

"The official in question accepted fully that what had happened had not been acceptable but stressed that it had not been intentional.

"The official concerned said that upon realising the mistake they immediately rectified it and ensured that the competitor concerned was presented with her medal before she left the Field of Play (FoP).

"The official also expressed deep regret for what they described as an honest error and requested the opportunity to apologise in person to the competitor and her family. This request was initially declined.

"A written apology provided by the identified individual has since been issued to the competitor and her family."

While the September 22 statement was widely reported as an institutional apology, the girl's mother told The Guardian on September 24: "I don’t understand why media kept saying they offered an apology."

The girl's mother said Gymnastics Ireland issued the statement without consulting the family and accused the organization of attempting to vindicate itself. 

The girl's mother said she only received a letter from Gymnastics Ireland on Sunday "well over a year" after the incident.

The girl's mother further claimed that Gymnastics Ireland suppressed a lengthy apology from the judge in question, instead issuing an unsigned two-lined apology addressed "To whom it may concern."

She said she did not consider the apology an appropriate response to the incident.

The mother told The Guardian that she only became aware of the first letter, written in March 2022 soon after the incident, when the woman asked if the family had received it.

“I didn’t believe her initially," the mother said. "But her email account showed the woman had sent a more detailed apology letter, and Gymnastics Ireland had withheld it from me.”

Later, on September 25, Gymnastics Ireland posted a "statement of apology."

In it, the organization said: "Please know that at all times we have been acting in good faith and with the best of intentions in trying to resolve this very difficult and sensitive matter.

"We offered an in-person apology after the incident as we believed this was the best approach. Subsequently we felt mediation was the best way forward."

Gymnasitcs Ireland said it would like to engage with the gymnast's family as well as Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) "to listen to any suggestions they have as to how our procedures can be improved in this regard."