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U.S. Shot Putter Raven Saunders Could Face Punishment for Demonstration

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 8/2/2021 Joseph Salvador
Raven Saunders wearing a costume © Provided by Sports Illustrated

The IOC is  in "contact" with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee on Raven Saunders's demonstration

Raven Saunders, who won silver in the shot put for the U.S. Sunday, could face punishment for her demonstration on the Olympic stand. The International Olympic Committee is looking into it and is in "contact" with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee on the matter, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said

After Saunders won, photos were being taken of her on the Olympic stand and she raised her arms and crossed them to form an "X." When asked what it means she responded, “it’s the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”

"Shout out to all my Black people. Shout out to all my LGBTQ community," Saunders later said, per NBC News. "Shout out to all my people dealing with mental health." 

Saunders went on to detail her battles with financial insecurity and her hardships but was elated because of those who would be inspired by her performance. 

“I feel amazing, because I know I'm going to inspire so many people,” Saunders said. “About to inspire so many young girls, so many young boys, so many LGBTQ people, so many people who have battled suicide. So many people would have almost given up...it's not, it's not just about me.”

Olympic athletes are banned from demonstrating at the Tokyo Games, but Saunders didn't seem worried. 

"Let them try and take this medal," Saunders said in a Tweet. "I'm running across the border even though I can't swim."

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