“No Podium, No Prize.” Second Place Athlete Denied Prize Purse for Catching Flight Home

September 16, 2019 by
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Two weekends ago, at the three-day Spanish Throwdown in Madrid, Spain, Cliona NíCheallacháin NicChárthaigh finished second in the RX division, a placement which would have awarded her €300 in cash, the trophy/medal, plaque and some other small bits. Due to the event running nearly two hours late and a 5:15 PM plane to catch back to Dublin, Ireland, Cliona had to leave. Before departing, she spoke to the head judge, explained the situation and asked that her prize be sent to her. He took down her information and agreed, according to Cliona.

When Cliona reached out on Facebook Messenger regarding her prize, she received this response:

  • Spanish Throwdown: “No podium, no prize…you can read regulation, web Spth.”
  • According to section 7a of the rulebook, “In case of personal absence, from the finalists to the final ceremony and rise to the podium, said athlete will lose the right to the delivery of the prizes in cash and as to the pack of the established brands. Having only the right to the trophy.”
  • Even worse, Colina pleaded with the event to allow her friend still in Madrid to pick up her prizes. She received no response.

Adding fuel to the fire, Alberto Hornero, who is a volunteer with Spanish Throwdown, responded on her Instagram post: “The easiest thing in life is to complain. The hardest thing is to read. I invite you to read the rulebook on the website. Everything is clearly explained.”

Morning Chalk Up’s multiple attempts to reach Spanish Throwdown staff on email and Facebook have gone unanswered.

When Cliona pointed out the hour-long time delay which caused her to miss the ceremony, Spanish Throwdown sent back a photo of the scheduled, underlining “APPROXIMATE SCHEDULE” in red. 

  • Cliona: “Yeah it was close! Only other flight back to Ireland was getting into Dublin at 12.30AM and it takes 3 hours to drive to Cork so I couldn’t get on that flight with work. Had the Uber booked for 3.45 for to get to the airport ASAP. Thankfully had no bags to check in so was ready for running through the airport.  I knew I was going to miss the podiums going into the final because the finals were scheduled originally for 2 hours before. That’s why I told the head judge the details so that he could contact me about the prize after the final!”
  • According to the schedule on the website, the award ceremony was set to start at 3:15 PM Local Time. But according to the live Facebook video, the ceremony didn’t start until after 4 PM local time at least a 45-minute delay.

Update 3:55 PM PT — Morning Chalk Up has joined Noah Ohlsen in setting up a gofundme page for the community to support Cliona.

Update 4:19 PM PT — FITAID announced they are donating the prize money to Cliona.

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