Canada's Beckie Scott gets gold medal

A tearful Beckie Scott accepted her Olympic gold medal on Friday, more than two years after the Salt Lake City Winter Games.

"It's a fantastic day, a great day," said the Canadian cross-country skier."I was trying not to cry, I was trying to keep it together.

"It was such a powerful, emotional moment."

Charmaine Crooks, a former Canadian track star and current International Olympic Committee member, presented Scott with the gold. The national anthem also was played during the ceremony at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The medal presentation caps a lengthy saga in which a doping scandal caused Scott to climb two podium spots more than a year after she competed at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

"This medal is symbolic of the end of a very long journey, one that started when I was 10 years old," said Scott. "It also symbolizes the victory and hope in the ongoing challenge for a level playing field and clean sport."

Scott, 29, became the first North American woman to capture a cross-country skiing Olympic medal by finishing third in the women's five-kilometre pursuit on Feb. 15, 2002.

Scott was lifted into the silver-medal position and eventually into top spot after winner Olga Danilova and silver medallist Larissa Lazutina were both disqualified for doping offences.

Scott, who hails from Vermilion, Altla., received the silver medal at a ceremony last October. The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland then ruled in December that Scott should be upgraded to gold due to Danilova's infraction.

Both Danilova and Lazutina tested positive for darbepoetin, which enhances endurance by stimulating the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

with files from Canadian Press