Olympics-Fencing-US fencer Imboden says X mark on hand was protest against Olympic charter rule
From Sakura Murakami
TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) - U.S. fencer and bronze medalist Race Imboden said an X mark drawn on the back of his hand during the Tokyo 2020 awards ceremony is protesting a ban on political gestures on Olympic podiums.
"Some of the athletes communicated and chose this symbol to show solidarity for one another and to support the oppressed," he said in an Instagram story posted early Wednesday morning.
"For me personally, I wore the symbol as a demonstration against Rule 50," he said, referring to a rule in the Olympic Charter that forbids making political statements in venues and on the podium.
U.S. shot put silver medalist Raven Saunders also raised her arms in an X sign during her podium, prompting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to consider the gesture.
After the death of Saunders' mother, they subsequently suspended the investigation.
"I would also like to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the IOC and all the organizations that benefit so enormously from the athletes and have not yet heard their call for change," added Imboden in the post.
Imboden was given 12 months probation by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in 2019 after suffering a knee injury during a medal ceremony for the Pan Am Games.
He made the gesture based on a number of factors, including questions about racism, gun control, abuse of immigrants, and then-President Donald Trump topping the list, he said at the time.
(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; editing by Christian Radnedge)
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Games in Tokyo
American shot putter
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