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Olympic Officials 'Looking Into' American Shot Putter's Podium Protest

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Olympic Officials 'Looking Into' American Shot Putter's Podium Protest

Olympic officials are reportedly "looking into" an incident involving American athlete Raven Saunders.

Saunders had just won an Olympic silver medal in a hotly-contested shot put event.

After receiving her coveted medal during the national anthems, Saunders was seen crossing her arms into an "X" shape and raising them above her head.

It was supposed to be a powerful political statement, a message which displayed the "intersection where all people who are oppressed meet".

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Raven Saunders. Credit: PA
Raven Saunders. Credit: PA

Saunders, who is openly gay and often speaks about her ongoing battles with depression, received widespread praise for the incredible gesture.

But it seems her "protest" didn't sit too well with Olympic authorities in Tokyo who have now launched a probe into the matter.

"We are, not surprisingly, looking into the matter and we'll now consider our next steps," International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams said.

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"I think we need to fully understand what's going on and then take a decision from there."

Athlete protests were a hot topic leading into the Games.

The IOC initially banned protests altogether before eventually relaxed its rules to allow the exercise of free speech to occur during media obligations.

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That said, protests would still be barred while athletes were on the podium.

Saunders appears to be one of the first to breach the rules in Tokyo, although you could argue that American fencer Race Imboden also protested by having a circled "X" written on his hand while he collected his bronze medal.

It's understood that symbol represents a fight for racial injustices.

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Speaking after clinching her historic silver medal, Saunders said: "Shout out to all my black people, shout out to all my LGBTQ community, shout out to everybody dealing with mental health. Because at the end of the day, we understand that it's bigger than us and it's bigger than the powers that be."

It's still unknown exactly what punishment the shot put star faces - that decision lies in the hands of the IOC.

In the worst case scenario, she could even be stripped of her medal or even banned from future events.

Despite the looming penalty for her actions, Saunders has continued to be a voice in raising awareness for the LGBTGI and black communities across the globe.

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And with over 180 LGBTQI athletes competing at the Tokyo Games, her most recent protest will have surely put a smile on the faces of some of those in the Olympic Village.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: olympics, IOC, Tokyo Olympics, Australia, Protest

Max Sherry
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