Why a British Olympic medal was reallocated to France 124 years later

France has been awarded a cycling silver medal originally given to Great Britain more than a century after the race took place

Two men on a tandem bicycle
Lloyd Hildebrand, pictured here on the back of the bicycle, came second in the 25 km cycling race in 1900
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An Olympic cycling silver medal has been awarded to France and stripped from the UK 124 years after the 1900 Paris Olympics in a bizarre decision. 

The Olympic International Committee (OIC) has decided to award France the silver medal from the second ever edition of the modern Olympics despite the cyclist, Lloyd Hildebrand being a British Citizen. 

Lloyd Hildebrand finished second in the men’s 25 km cycling race. Back in 1900, athletes could sign up for the Olympics by simply sending in the number of their licence with the national federation of where they regularly competed, as well as paying the entry fees (today, National Olympic Committees are involved). 

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The OIC discovered that Hildebrand, despite his British citizenship, was born in France and competed for a French club before and after the last Paris Olympics. 

Therefore, they took the decision of crediting the silver medal to France and taking it away from Great Britain, in accordance with a policy they have applied in several similar situations. 

It now means that the entire podium of the 1900 25 km cycling event was entirely made up of French athletes. 

In the all-time rankings, Great Britain are still ahead of France in terms of medals won despite the switch, although France will be hoping to bridge the gap this summer. 

Hildebrand married a French woman and died in Levallois-Perret in France in 1924.