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TOKYO — U.S. shot-putter Raven Saunders has made headlines after she became the first athlete to protest on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics.
Saunders took to the podium after winning a silver medal after Saunders tossed 64 feet, 11¼ inches, to finish second in the women’s shot put on Sunday.
On Sunday, Saunders raised her arms and crossed them into an X shape — Wakanda style.
According to the BBC, the athlete, nicknamed “The Hulk,” said it represented “the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”
Despite the International Olympic Committee (IOC) relaxing its outright ban on protests ahead of the Tokyo Games — protests on the podium are still prohibited. Athletes are only allowed to “express their views” during news conferences.
The IOC is reportedly now “looking into” the protest and whether further actions should be taken.
“I really think that my generation really don’t care,” Saunders said.
“At the end of the day, we really don’t care. Shout out to all my black people. Shout out to all my LGBTQ community. Shout out to all my people dealing with mental health. At the end of the day, we understand it’s bigger than us and it’s bigger than the powers that be. We understand that there’s so many people that are looking up to us, that are looking to see if we say something or if we speak up for them.”
Saunders finished fifth in the Olympic shot put competition in 2016. But the following season, Saunders described it as “gruelling” 2017, reaching her lowest point the subsequent year. In June, she opened up about battling depression while striving to be a successful athlete.
“It was like no one really understood the pain and the challenges I was going through,” Saunders shared. It got worse and worse and worse and worse till it all boiled over … I remember in the morning, just going through the motions, kind of being in a daze, having things to do, but not really having any motivation or any care to really get anything done. Then hopping in my car and driving and looking at that spot,” she told CNN Sport.