Belated gold medal opens doors

FasterSkierDecember 23, 2003

One window of marketing opportunity closed on Beckie Scott because of the 22-month delay in receiving her rightful gold medal for cross-country skiing at the 2002 Winter Olympics. But corporate doors are now wide open because of the qualities she showed in fighting against cheats and pushing the sport bureaucracy to do the right thing, sport marketing agents say.

“An Olympic gold medalist normally has three to six months after the Games to get endorsements that are based on qualities like hard work, dedication and athleticism. But on top of that, Beckie's image will carry the message of integrity, fair play, ethics, persistence,” said Elliott Kerr, the skier's agent at the Landmark Sports Group.

“We've seen so many examples that we point to and say 'that's what's wrong with sport.' You look at Beckie and what she did and it says 'that's everything that's right about sport.' She's bringing us back to what sport was meant to be.”

The international Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Thursday that Scott should get the 2002 Olympic cross-country pursuit gold medal, telling the International Olympic Committee it erred in letting Russia's Olga Danilova keep the gold medal for the pursuit. Danilova was discovered to be using darbepoietin, a blood booster, after a later race and the Canadian and Norwegian Olympic Committees, plus Scott and several Norwegian skiers argued it was contrary to the Olympic Charter to allow a cheat to keep anything won at the Games.


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