It is nice to see Chaunte Lowe get her just due. But, let us be honest. This is not a just due. It is eight years since Chaunte Lowe had this amazing competition, bastardized by an athlete who cheated to gain a benefit to compete at this Olympic level. Watch the high jump competition and note how little separates medal positions and fourth and fifth in a World Champs or Olympic games.
This is not really a complaint, but more, an observation. I like that the IAAF is rewarding athletes who should have medaled when drug cheats are found. I celebrate that. I also understand how lng that we have had a mess in this sport.
Congrats to Chaunte Lowe. I wish you would have gotten this eight years ago.
“It’s easy to look at this situation and think about all that was lost, but I choose to look forward to all that was gained,” Lowe said. “In the last nine years, I have met amazing new people, my husband and I have had two additional children, and all three of our kids can now understand the gravity of this moment. I am proud to have represented this country with integrity that withstood the test of time! I am most thankful to God for fighting a fight I could not fight on my own and to each and every one of the people and organizations that have supported me along the way.”
One of the greatest jumpers in U.S. history, Lowe is a four-time Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) and the American record holder in the high jump both indoors (2.02m/6-7.25) and outdoors (2.05m/6-8.25). She made her first U.S. Olympic Team at just 20 years old before winning the world championship silver medal one year later, in 2005. At the world indoor championships, she won gold in 2012 and bronze in 2010. The mother of three children, Lowe gave birth to her oldest child in 2007 – just one year before her medal-winning performance in Beijing. She most recently placed fourth at the Rio 2016 Games.
“The U.S. Olympic Committee sends our heartfelt congratulations to ChauntÃ© for her incredible finish in Beijing and for this long-awaited recognition,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Her commitment to competitive excellence and clean sport have prevailed, and though her celebration is nine years delayed, it is not denied, and we must remain resolute in our efforts to ensure that competition is clean.”
In Beijing, Lowe initially finished sixth in the 2008 Olympic high jump with a height of 1.99m/6-6.25. In late 2016, third-place finisher Anna Chicherova of Russia, fourth-place finisher Yelena Slesarenko of Russia, and fifth-place finisher Vita Palamar of Ukraine were disqualified after testing positive for banned substances in retests of their Beijing Games samples. Following the exhaustion of appeals, Lowe is now officially the bronze medalist.
“On behalf of USATF, we congratulate ChauntÃ© on her long-overdue Olympic medal,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “Throughout her career, ChauntÃ© has conducted herself with class, while also being one of this country’s greatest athletes. Her story is one of perseverance and patience being rewarded. She richly deserves this medal and a celebration for everything she has accomplished.”
Lowe grew up in Paso Robles and Riverside, California, and resided in Atlanta during the 2008 Games. She and her family now call Orlando, Florida, home.