IOC Investigating Athlete’s Potential Podium Protest Gesture
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is investigating a silver medallist after they crossed their arms to make an X-shape during a podium ceremony.
US athlete Raven Saunders won a silver medal in the shot put in the Tokyo Games. However, according to IOC spokesperson Mark Adams in a news conference, she may lose her medal for a potential breach of rules that bans protests on medal podiums.
Saunders has strongly opposed the possibility of her medal being removed. Nonetheless, some believe the protest was against the rules, despite Rule 50, which forbids athletes from any protests, being relaxed last month. Now, the IOC is in contact with World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport, as well as the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, regarding Saunders’ actions.
Asked about what the gesture meant, Saunders said, ‘It’s the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.’ Now that she faces action that could see her losing her medal, the athlete said on social media ‘Let them try and take this medal. I’m running across the border even though I can’t swim [cry laughing emoji].’
When Saunders won her medal in the shot put, she said she hoped she could carry on inspiring the LGBTQ+ community, African Americans, Black people around the world, and those struggling with their mental health, Reuters reports.
This is not the first political gesture that has been seen at the Tokyo Games. Team GB’s women football team took the knee in their opening game against Columbia to protest racial inequality. Additionally, Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado raised her fist while taking the knee at the end of her floor routine as she supported the same cause.
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