Alvarado, 18, made history when she became the first gymnast from Costa Rica to qualify for the Olympics. During her qualifying floor routine, Alvarado took a knee while placing her left hand behind her back and raising her right hand into a fist toward the stadium ceiling.
“My cousin and I, we both do it in our routines. And 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 so I think that’s why I love to have it in my routine and I love that my little cousin does it on her routine too,” she told the GymCastic podcast following her bold performance.
The routine earned a 12.166 in competition. Sadly, did not move into the finals.
Alvarado may face punishment from the International Olympic Committee for her display. While the IOC eased restrictions on all protests — political displays are to only take place in the call room or during athlete introductions. Athletes are banned from demonstrating on the medal stand or during competition.
Last month, hammer thrower Gwen Berry was forced to defend herself after she was snapped, turning away from the American flag while on the podium went viral over the weekend.
She says she was set up.
“I feel like it was set up. I feel like they did that on purpose, and I was p*ssed, to be honest,” said Berry via ESPN. “I was thinking about what should I do. Eventually, I just stayed there and just swayed. I put my shirt over my head. It was real disrespectful. I know they did that on purpose, but it’ll be alright. I see what’s up,” she said.