Sunday, June 29, 2008

The 1980 US Olympic team receives the 'Congressional Gold Medal'

On June 25th 1980, the 96th congress of the House of Representatives voted 374-28 in favor of awarding the 1980 US Olympic team the Congressional Gold Medal - But that is not what they received! Instead, they received was a gold plated bronze medal from the USOC which the USOC had to pay for. (Who were the 28 people who voted against it and why?)
So the athletes get their medal but it's called an Olympic Medal instead of a Congressional Medal.

So, Congress, after being prodded and corrected by Dave Sims and Ron Neugent, have changed the designation of the medals with a certificate now entered into the public record.

From the USOC website: "... COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Twenty-seven years after Congress authorized President Jimmy Carter to present a congressional medal to the 461 athletes of the 1980 United States Olympic Team, the medal has now been confirmed as being the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed by Congress. Until this recent designation, the medals awarded to the 1980 Olympic Team have been denied full recognition due to a technicality in production. ..."

Swimming World asked Glenn mills for his reaction to this last December and this is what he said: "... First, a very heartfelt thank you to Dave Sims and Ron Neugent. Thanks for caring enough to research and fight for recognition. Regardless of the significance of the medals, or the loss we all feel for not having had the chance to participate and represent our country, I feel the overriding message in this story is how we've all remained friends over the years. This is a team that shares a special bond. Dave and Ron's caring for all the athletes, and the heartfelt letter he wrote to all of us is a testament that no matter what our signification to the outside world, we remain The 1980 U.S. Olympic Team." [Link]

Now I wanted to find out if Congress followed through so I wrote Glenn Mills and asked if he could send me a photo as evidence that they followed through. Above is Glenn Mills holding up the certificate validating his medal as a Congressional Medal.

Winning the Congressional Medal is a big deal! Here is a page to the US House of Representatives of those that have received the Congressional Gold Medal. It's quite impressive, it includes Pope John Paul II; Navy Commander and de facto father of the navy, John Paul Jones; Prime Minister Tony Blair; Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Simon Wiesenthal; Gold Medalist, Jesse Owens, and many more. [Link]

Here is a link to Glenn Mills' (Congressional Medal Mills) website,

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