10 years after the Sydney Olympics, the 2000 women's gymnastics team can finally call themselves bronze medalists. The 6 women were presented the medals during the first night of competition at the U.S. Championships in Hartford.
The International Olympic Committee found that Chinese athlete Dong Fangxiao was 14 during the Sydney games, two years younger than the minimum age. The finding disqualified China stripping them of their bronze medal, moving the United States into 3rd place.
"Having a bronze medal around my neck from the Olympics was my ultimate goal and definitely a dream come true," said team member Jamie Dantzcher.
Inside the XL Center the Olympic theme music was played as the women came out to a standing ovation. Each of the 6 team members were presented with medals as they wiped away tears and waved to the crowd.
"I definitely think it would have been better to get it that day," explained Dr. Amy Chow, now a physician in the San Francisco area. "Getting it 10 years later is still an honor."
The most emotional part of the ceremony was when Dominique Dawes surprised everyone running off stage and handing her medal to coach Kelly Hill.
"Kelly has just mean so much to me since I was 6 years old since I first walked into a gymnastics gym," said Dawes fighting back tears. "She really is the closest thing to a mother that I have."