*Luciana Alvarado, an 18-year-old gymnast from Costa Rica, raised a fist in the air after concluding her floor exercise routine at the Tokyo Olympics.
Her routine was choreographed to honor the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Because we’re all the same,” Alvarado told the Associated Press, “We’re all beautiful and amazing.”
Alvarado was able to incorporate the fist gesture in her floor routine because she added it as an artistic element. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has always cracked down on any protests or political messages at the Olympic Games. Alvarado was able to raise her fist without suffering a penalty because she found a loophole in the IOC’s policy, as reported by USA Today.
“I’m very proud of her,” Sharon Reed said in a segment on the Black News Channel. “She didn’t just do this to say, ‘I support you Black people in America.’ This is also a lesson on what happened in Costa Rica: the slave trade there, the influx of Black Jamaicans. … She got her point across.”
Alvardo made history when she became the first gymnast from Costa Rice to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, as we previously reported, the IOCI banned athletes from wearing Black Lives Matter apparel or kneeling at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo,
Per Revolt, the ruling is part of a long-standing ban on “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda.” Athletes will be permitted to wear “Black Lives Matter” slogans during some parts of the Olympics, including press conferences, interviews and team meetings, according to the report.
The IOC says athletes who violate the rules will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
“A very clear majority of athletes said that they think it’s not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play, at the official ceremonies or at the podium,” IOC Athletes’ Commission Chief Kirsty Coventry said. “So, our recommendation is to preserve the podium, field of play and official ceremonies from any kind of protest, or demonstrations or acts perceived as such.”