American sprinter Shawn Crawford finished fourth in the finals of the Beijing Olympics 200m sprinting event, but was awarded the silver medal when it was determined that the 2nd and 3rd place finishers behind gold medalist Usain Bolt strayed from their lanes during the event. It was a medal that hung too heavy around Crawford's neck, so he gave his medal to the disqualified second place finisher Churandy Martina.
Crawford won gold at the 2004 Olympics and figured that honor among athletes was more important than having a shiny piece of metal attached to a ribbon.
“I’m like, if a guy is 10 meters in front of me, I don’t care if he stayed in the middle of his lane,” Crawford told The Associated Press on Friday after finishing third in the 60 at the Millrose Games. “He was going to beat me anyway. He didn’t impede in anybody’s race.”
Martina filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but it was rejected due to a lack of timeliness--ironic for an athlete focused solely on physical speed.
That didn't matter to Crawford, who left the Olympic silver medal at Martina's hotel when they competed in a track meet after the Beijing Games. “Me being an athlete, I know how he feels, so I feel like it was to me to give it up to him.”