July 15, 2024

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Olympic athlete Raven Saunders becomes latest to inject politics into Toykyo games

American silver medalist shot-putter Raven Saunders sent a political demonstration at the Olympics podium on Sunday in the latest protest at the Tokyo game titles.  

All through the picture op at her medals ceremony, Saunders stepped off the podium, lifted her arms higher than her head and fashioned an “X’ with her wrists. 

“It truly is the intersection of where all people who are oppressed satisfy,” she stated when asked what her protest intended. 

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Saunders, who is overtly gay, has generally wondered if the Olympics could dwell up to the mission of variety. 

“To be me. To not apologize,” she explained in a broad-ranging conversation immediately after her 2nd-position complete. “To display young individuals that no subject how several bins they try to in shape you in, you can be you and you can acknowledge it. Men and women tried out to inform me not to do tattoos and piercings and all that. But glimpse at me now, and I’m poppin’.”

Moments following Saunders’s protest, American fencer Race Imboden was also found with a circled X composed on his hand as he went to the podium at a diverse location after the U.S. men’s foil team defeat Japan in the bronze medal match. 

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Raven Saunders, of the United States, poses with her silver medal on women's shot put at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

Raven Saunders, of the United States, poses with her silver medal on women’s shot put at the 2020 Summer season Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Saunders’s protest comes soon after a handful of other Olympians shown all through the summer months video games, such as players for the U.S. women’s soccer staff, who knelt in protest of racism and discrimination ahead of a video game with Sweden previous thirty day period.

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“It is an possibility for us to go on to use our voices and use our platforms to speak about the factors that impact all of us intimately in unique techniques,” player Megan Rapinoe said just after their 3- loss to Sweden.

Woman British and Chilean soccer players also knelt ahead of a video game on July 21 to protest racial inequality. 

“We felt strongly as a group that we needed to present help for those impacted by discrimination and equality,” Britain captain Steph Houghton said. “It was a happy instant mainly because the Chile gamers took the knee much too to show how united we are as sport.”

Players for Australia’s women’s soccer group also posed with an Indigenous flag and connected arms final thirty day period although their New Zealand counterparts knelt final in protest of racism. 

The functions of protests arrive following the International Olympic Committee experienced peaceful policies banning demonstrations forward of Tokyo Olympics, but IOC chief Thomas Bach extra that athletes could not protest on the medal stand.

“The podium and the medal ceremonies are not manufactured … for a political or other demonstration. They are made to honor the athletes and the medal winners for sporting achievement and not for their non-public [views],” Bach said past thirty day period. 

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He threatened sanctions for athletes who protest on the podium, but it was unclear what people sanctions would be.

Other sorts of protests have also designed a displaying at the video games, with some customers of the U.S. men’s fencing staff donning pink experience masks on Friday in an evident protest of teammate Alen Hadzic, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. While a French boxer also sat on the Olympic ring apron in protest on Sunday, after a referee disqualified him for intentionally headbutting a British opponent. 

The Affiliated Press contributed to this report.