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Swiss skier awarded Olympic bronze after appeal

Swiss skier Fanny Smith training Keystone / Anthony Anex

Swiss skier Fanny Smith will be awarded the women’s ski cross bronze medal after her disqualification in the controversial final at the recent Winter Olympics was overturned by an appeals commission.

This content was published on February 26, 2022 - 11:37
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Smith, a bronze medallist at Pyeongchang in 2018, was relegated to fourth in Beijing after a prolonged review of the final resulted in the jury of the International Ski Federation (FIS) deciding that she had impeded Germany’s Daniela Maier, with Maier taking the bronze.

“The Appeals Commission met four times and reviewed both video and written documentation for several hours and ultimately found that the contact was the result of a sequence of actions which happened in unison,” the FIS said in a statementExternal link on Saturday.

“The Appeals Commission found that the close proximity of the racers at that moment resulted in action that was neither intentional nor avoidable. Therefore, […] the jury decision should have been rendered as an official warning, which as written in the Guidelines on Intentional Contact, would lead to no sanction.”

After the race on February 17 Smith, born in Switzerland to an American father and British mother, immediately pleaded her case, explaining that she couldn’t help how she had moved, given the presence of the Canadian Marielle Thompson almost on her skis at the landing of one of the last jumps of the course.

“I’m obviously relieved by this decision,” Smith said in a statement on Saturday. “I was always convinced that I hadn’t made a mistake. But at the same time I feel sorry for Daniela Maier who is now the victim of this situation.”

As a result of Smith’s bronze, Swiss Olympic hit its stated target of 15 medals in Beijing, seven of which were gold.

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