*Editor's Note: The girl's mother has since claimed that Gymnastics Ireland did not offer an institutional apology to the girl, stating that the organization only passed on an apology from the official in question. In a follow-up statement, Gymnastics Ireland said it had sent a written apology to the girl on Sunday.
Gymnastics Ireland has apologized to a young girl after her parents accused the organization of racist behavior when an official left the young girl out of a medal ceremony last year.
Footage of the incident, which took place at the National Indoor Arena in Dublin in March 2022, has gone viral in recent days and has received widespread criticism on social media.
The video, which shows a sole black competitor in a line of young gymnasts, shows the young girl being overlooked as each of her peers receives a medal. The viral footage has been viewed millions of times on X, formerly known as Twitter.
US gymnast Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic champion, replied to the video, stating that it broke her heart.
Biles said she had sent a video message to the young girl to offer her encouragement and added that "there is no room for racism in any sport or at all".
Biles' teammate Jordan Chiles described the incident as "beyond hurtful on so many levels".
Gymnastics Ireland issued a statement on Saturday, stating that it had received complaints from the girl's parents, who accused the organization of racist behavior.
Gymnastics Ireland told the Irish Times that it "engaged immediately" with the girl's parents after receiving the complaint, adding that it also engaged with the official in question.
"Initially we attempted to address the matter through the informal process of our discipline and complaints policy," Gymnastics Ireland said in a statement.
"However, following a series of communications with the parents they informed Gymnastics Ireland that they would not be engaging in the process and were seeking legal advice."
Gymnastics Ireland said it was contacted by the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF) in the summer of 2022 in relation to the incident.
"We remained engaged with the GEF through the autumn and winter months during which time our internal process was suspended," the organization told the Irish Times.
"In February, we agreed to resume internally and proceed to the next stage of our process."
Gymnastics Ireland said his process involved inviting the girl's parents and the official in question to mediation, which would be facilitated by Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland (SDSI). The statement added that both parties agreed to mediation in March this year.
The mediation took place in August and the SDSI subsequently contacted Gymnastics Ireland to state that a resolution had been reached by both parties and that the matter could be considered resolved.
Gymnastics Ireland also revealed that the official in question decided not to renew her membership in August 2022 and has not been a member of the organization since.
In a separate statement, Gymnastics Ireland said it issued a written apology to the young girl and said the official in question immediately rectified her mistake by presenting the girl with a medal before the end of the ceremony.
The organization also said it "accepted fully that what had happened had not been acceptable but stressed that it had not been intentional".
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