Gymnast Alvarado Skirts IOC Rules by Incorporating BLM into Tokyo Floor Routine

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

18-year-old Luciana Alvarado, Costa Rica’s first gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games, made a name for herself in Tokyo by paying tribute to the Black Lives Matter Movement without violating the new IOC and Toyko 2020 rules prohibiting “demonstration or political, religious, or racial propaganda in Olympic venues.”

Alvarado’s solution was to incorporate her tribute into her artistic gymnastics routine.

She ended ending her qualifying-round routine kneeling, with her head thrown back and her right fist raised to the sky.

Alvarado had told the Associated Press before taking to the mat that her floor routine would end with a deliberate nod to the Black Lives Matter Movement and that she hoped it would “highlight the importance of equal rights on a global stage, and champion treating all with respect and dignity.”

The Independent reported that Alvarado told the podcast GymCastic on Friday before her event, “I feel like if you do something that brings everyone together, you know, and 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.”

Alvarado’s tribute to the BLM Movement comes after the International Olympic Committee’s somewhat confusing series of recent rules on freedom of expression at the Tokyo Games. While demonstrations on the medal stand are prohibited, the IOC had recently updated its policies to allow free expression on the field of play, but only before competition begins and as long as the expression is “consistent with the Fundamental Principles of Olympism.” Then, last week, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organizers announced they were prohibiting their social media teams from posting pictures of athletes taking a knee after the women’s soccer teams from Great Britain, Chile, the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand kneeled before kick-off, and the Australian women’s team posed with the Australian Aboriginal Flag.

The CBC reported that “Those images were excluded from official Olympic highlights and social media channels, but the IOC has since reversed that decision.”

Alvarado earned a score of 12.166 and finished 66th in prelims, which was not enough to move on to the finals. But the impact of her routine was felt around the world.

 

 

 

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Camelboar
1 month ago

Is this swimming related?

Lead by Example
Reply to  Camelboar
1 month ago

Nope, just unnecessary and uncalled for virtue signaling

That70s_swimmer
Reply to  Camelboar
1 month ago

Let’s ask Simone Manuel and Natalie Hinds? They cannot directly respond due to their current commitments but I venture to say on their behalf – Yes, it matters – to swimming and every other sport,

Lead by Example
Reply to  That70s_swimmer
1 month ago

Awfully privileged of you to speak on their behalf…

Camelboar
Reply to  That70s_swimmer
1 month ago

I don’t see swimming mentioned once in the article so that is why I’m confused. Also, it looks like this is a gymnast and not a swimmer, so this article just seems like it belongs on a different website. That’s all.

Reply to  Camelboar
1 month ago

Camelboar – Olympic rules govern all Olympic athletes, swimmers included. We’ve covered them as long as the site has been in existence because a precedent set for gymnasts in the Olympics will also affect what Olympic swimmers are and aren’t allowed to do on deck.

If there was a repeat of the 2019 World Championships men’s 200 free podium, for instance, or even a slightly-more-public version of Lilly King’s finger-wag, this context would be immensely valuable to see how the IOC applies its reworked Rule 50 to protests in various Olympic venues.

Breezeway
1 month ago

✊🏾

Pepper
1 month ago

Cough, cough, again why? This is a swimming site. Not politics about gymnastics

5wimmer
Reply to  Pepper
1 month ago

Cough cough it’s the olympics. Broaden your sporting horizons

HJones
Reply to  5wimmer
1 month ago

Ah yes, because people come to a site called “SwimSwam” so they can broaden their sporting horizons. Do you go to SwimOutlet.com to shop for basketball shoes as well?

Alex Dragovich
1 month ago

Here’s hoping the state sanctioned violence against black bodies that necessitates the BLM movement is at least as upsetting to many of you as this article apparently was.

Banana Heat
Reply to  Alex Dragovich
1 month ago

Well said.

DJTrockstoYMCA
Reply to  Alex Dragovich
1 month ago

What are you talking about?? What about the state sanctioned violence against Native Americans OR Aboriginal people?? Apparently for some small minded myopics racism only applies to Black Lives. All lives matter and racism is an ugly human quality every person need minimize.

Sam B
1 month ago

thanks swimswam for caring and writing about such issues. Hugely relevant HERE too.

sure
1 month ago

It’s pathetic that people are finding a way in this comment section to be mad at this. If you don’t think it’s relevant, then don’t read the article? Let alone comment.

HJones
Reply to  sure
1 month ago

It is fair to question why such an article belongs on a website like this. It’s pathetic that you don’t think people can have an opinion to express on this.

GTS
1 month ago

Interesting. BLM seems like a worthy cause. Thinking about donating some money. What’s the administrative overhead %.

Sam B
1 month ago

good survey, 60% of swimswam readers are insensitive and racist, without a name of course

HJones
Reply to  Sam B
1 month ago

Not wanting to support a Marxist organization (they said it themselves, support the Cuban government, glorify Fidel Castro, and romanticize Che Guevara–an actual racist) doesn’t make you racist.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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