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International Olympic Committee Corrects Record To Show U.S. Pairs Team Joseph-Joseph As 1964 Olympic Bronze Medalists

By U.S. Figure Skating | Nov. 25, 2014, 10:40 p.m. (ET)


On Oct. 22, 1966, U.S. Olympic Committee President Emeritus Kenneth Wilson presented the 1964 Olympic bronze medals to siblings Vivian and Ronald Joseph during the U.S. Figure Skating Executive Board meeting in Chicago.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Nov. 25, 2014) — U.S. Figure Skating has received confirmation that the International Olympic Committee has formally corrected the medal standings of the 1964 Olympic Winter Games pairs competition, officially listing the American team of Vivian Joseph and Ronald Joseph as the bronze medalists.

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

In 1966, the IOC awarded the Josephs the bronze medal after declaring that the West German pairs team of Marika Kilius and Hans-Jürgen Bäumler had violated their amateur status by signing a professional contract. With the West Germans stripped of their silver medal, all but the gold medalists moved up one placement, resulting in the following official order:

  • Gold: Ludmila Belousova/Oleg Protopopov (URS)

  • Silver: Debbi Wilkes/Guy Revell (CAN)

  • Bronze: Vivian Joseph/Ronald Joseph (USA)

However, in 1987, the IOC declared the West German team had been “rehabilitated,” and changed its records to Soviet Union (1), West Germany (2), Canada (3). But since that time, confusion ensued because the IOC did not explain or inform the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee or the national federations for figure skating in the United States or Canada of the West German team’s status and its medal consequences. The issue recently was brought to light during the run-up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which marked the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Innsbruck Games.  


Vivian and Ronald Joseph, who trained under coach Peter Dunfield, were four-time U.S. medalists in pairs.

After a further review by the IOC, it now recognizes and confirms one gold, two silvers and one bronze for the 1964 pairs event:

  • Gold: Ludmila Belousova/Oleg Protopopov (URS)

  • Silver: Marika Kilius/Hans-Jürgen Bäumler (EUA) and Debbi Wilkes/Guy Revell (CAN)

  • Bronze: Vivian Joseph/Ronald Joseph (USA)

To view the IOC medals site for this event, click here.

“After more than two decades of confusion, we are pleased to see Vivian and Ronald Joseph as the rightful Olympic bronze medalists,” said David Raith, executive director, U.S. Figure Skating. “We respect the way the Josephs have handled this issue, knowing that this confusion has caused them much heartache and frustration.” 

The Josephs will award the championship pairs medals at the 2015 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, N.C.

“We thank all involved who helped settle this matter,” the Josephs said. “We are only saddened that our parents and coach, Peter Dunfield, are not alive to share in this moment. They were the keys to our success.”

This medal correction also increases to 48 the total Olympic figure skating medals won by the United States, the most medals won by any single nation in the Olympic Winter Games.