Shalane Flangan has been upgraded to a silver medal for her performance in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Flanagan was originally third behind Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey. However, Abeylegesse was disqualified in March after testing positive for a banned substance.
The United States Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field received official notification about the medal upgrade from the International Olympic Committee. Flanagan received the medal at her home in Portland, Ore., on Monday.
“Receiving my proper medal and having the record books changed is a dream come true,” Flanagan said in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the USOC’s efforts to host a more formal medal ceremony in my honor, but with my coach and my family, I have decided to forego that option and instead celebrate in private. This news, and receiving my medal, are all that I need to feel incredibly fulfilled and happy. I’m honored and proud to officially be the 2008 10,000-meter silver medalist.”
Flanagan is a four-time Olympian, most recently placing 6th in the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She holds American records in the 10K and 15K road race, as well as the indoor 3000 and 5000 meters. With her silver medal upgrade, Flanagan is now the top-placing American woman in history in the Olympic 10,000m. Lynn Jennings won bronze in the 1992 Olympics.
“Shalane has set the highest standard for American athletes for more than a decade,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “Her fierce competitiveness and athletic accomplishments are matched by her integrity, professionalism and her care for our sport as a whole. USATF congratulates Shalane on her richly deserved Olympic silver medal.”