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U.S. figure skaters officially bronze medalists, 50 years later

Vivian Joseph, Ronald Joseph

A U.S. sister-brother pairs figure skating team that placed fourth at the Innsbruck 1964 Olympics was officially moved up to third place in International Olympic Committee records Tuesday.

Vivian and Ronald Joseph were fourth in Innsbruck, but it was later revealed the silver medal-winning West German pair had signed a professional contract before the Winter Games. That violated their amateur status.

The West Germans returned their medals, a Canadian team was moved from third to second and the Josephs were awarded bronze medals.

But in 1987, the IOC reinstated the “rehabilitated” West Germans. It wasn’t until Tuesday that the official IOC results were changed to include the Josephs as bronze medalists, with the West German and Canadian pairs sharing silver.

“An Olympic medal is the ultimate sports symbol of hard work, sacrifice and the perseverance of athletes, parents and coaches,” Vivian and Ronald Joseph said in a statement. “We are happy the issue of our medal has finally been resolved.”

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