American silver medallist Raven Saunders offered the highest-profile protest yet at these Olympics on Sunday night.
Saunders, who competed in the shot put, raised her arms over her head in an “X” as she, gold medallist Lijiao Gong and bronze medalist Valerie Adams posed for photographers. She stood with her hands in front of her during the anthem.
Saunders told the Associated Press that the symbol represented “the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.
While the IOC did relax its Rule 50 before the Tokyo Games, saying athletes could speak up in media conferences or during introductions, IOC chief Thomas Bach reiterated that athletes could not protest on the medal stand.
Last month he told the Financial Times, “The podium and the medal ceremonies are not made . . . for a political or other demonstration
. They are made to honor the athletes and the medal winners for sporting achievement and not for their private [views].—AP