New Zealand’s gymnastics coaching staff have condemned an incident in which a woman was forced to take off her uniform and kneel in front of an Olympic medal after the team was forced into a “tough, emotional” session.
Key points:A team of New Zealand men have been stripped of their gold medals after the women’s team refused to take down their medalsThe New Zealand team has apologised to the woman who was forced from her spotThe New England team has been accused of trying to “control the situation” by “overplaying the emotions”The New York Times reported that a woman in her mid-20s was on the verge of tears when she left her spot on the podium in the final after a difficult session with a team of gymnasts.
She left her medal lying on the floor.
The woman had been sitting on the side of the podium, in a kneeling position, for about five minutes, and was told she could take it off, the Times reported.
She asked her team-mates if she could sit down, but they refused, and she told them she was “very disappointed”.
The team of female gymnasts were later escorted out of the room.
The New Bedford Mercury reported that the women who left the room “said the incident was completely unacceptable”.
They said they “felt it was the wrong time” to leave and “had no intention of making any changes to our routine”.
But they later said they did not want to “make any excuses” for leaving the podium.
“We felt the need to speak up and tell our story to let people know that the Olympic spirit does not tolerate discrimination and that the way we were treated was unacceptable,” they said in a statement.
“This is not the first time that we have been asked to leave the podium after being asked to do so by the team.
It was not our intention to interfere with their performance, but it was our obligation to leave when we were asked to.”
The Mercury reported the team had been invited back to the podium by coach Mark McVicker after they had left.
It said the woman was not allowed to take her medal with her, but had been allowed to leave it behind.
The gymnasts apologised for the incident, but said they were “very sorry” for the “unacceptable” situation.
“As a coach of athletes, you have a responsibility to be sensitive and respectful and that was the case today.
We do not condone the behaviour that happened and we are extremely disappointed with the response,” New Bedford Gymnastics said in the statement.
The team’s gymnast partner told the New York Daily News that the woman had “a big heart”.
“The gymnastics world is incredibly disappointed with what happened today,” said Sarah Wigglesworth.
I can’t believe it’The New Hampshire team’s coach, Dan Loughlin, told the paper the woman’s decision was “outrageous”.””
It’s a very emotional situation, especially for someone who is just starting out.”‘
I can’t believe it’The New Hampshire team’s coach, Dan Loughlin, told the paper the woman’s decision was “outrageous”.
“She was very upset and upset with herself,” he said.
“She’s not a trained gymnast, she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and it’s out of character for her to have that reaction.”
The women’s national team has previously said it is “disappointed” in the way the incident happened and is “working to ensure that it never happens again”.
“We will continue to work with the team to make sure that this never happens to anyone else in the future,” New Hampshire gymnastics said.
A spokesperson for the Australian Olympic Committee said the New Zealand women’s gymnasts had “acted within their rights” and were “absolutely committed to ensuring that this kind of incident never happens in future”.
“They have been given full confidence by the NZ Olympic Committee that they are following the rules and procedures of the sport and will not make any changes in the routines that they have already completed,” they added.ABC/wires