Big ups to this Costa Rican gymnast for putting Black Lives Matter on the world stage.
Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado showed her support for the BLM movement during the Tokyo Olympics. Alvarado ended her floor routine, taking a knee and raising her fist into the air, a clear indication of standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
Speaking with GymCastic live blog, the 18-year-old gymnast said that she and her cousin incorporate the gesture into their routines.
“My cousin and I, we both do it in our routines,” Alvarado revealed. “And I feel like if you do something that brings everyone together, you see that here, like ‘Yes, you’re one of mine, you understand things; the importance of everyone treated with respect and dignity and everyone having the same rights because we’re all the same, and we’re all beautiful and amazing.’”
“I think that’s why I love to have it in my routine,” she continued, “and I love that my little cousin does it on her routine too.”
Alvarado’s inclusion of the gesture into her routine is very clever, being that under Olympic Charter Rule 50, “the International Olympic Committee prohibits any athlete protest or political demonstration on the field-of-play or medal ceremony podium.” Before the start of the Olympics, the IOC did make some concessions to the rule by allowing acts of free expression as long as they happened before the start of the competition.
Alvarado was not the only Olympic athlete to display some form of protest. On the first day of the Olympic competition, British and Chilean women’s soccer teams took a knee, United States, Sweden, and New Zealand also did the same. The Australian women also posed with the flag of Australia’s Indigenous people.
The IOC initially excluded all images showcasing the athletes protesting but have since reversed that decision.
Salute to Luciana Alvarado and all of the other Olympic athletes letting their voices be heard.
Photo: LUIS ROBAYO / Getty