In Tokyo Olympics, female athletes are gaining a lot of attraction with social and political demonstrations. They are championing racial equality and are taking ownership of what they will wear at the time of the competition.
Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at San Jose State University, Akilah Carter-Francique said that historically. Female athletes have seen how patriarchy has replaced the voices and life experiences of women and girls in the event of the Olympics. She further said that what is happening in Olympics now, is an acknowledgment of their values. And on many of the issues that have been taking place. Protests and demonstrations shown by the female athletes at the Tokyo Olympics are the extensions of the social movements. They have accelerated activism in the US and abroad-says Akilah. The Me Too and the Black Lives Matter movements were the two movements that acting as a catalyst for groups. They have been oppressed historically and have been forced to remain silenced for years.
Many Women’s Soccer teams along with the US knelt at the beginning of their matches against Sweden, as a gesture to end racism.
The International Olympic Committee introduced new guidelines allowing teams to express their views on the field. Before the beginning of the competitions or during the introduction of the athletes. And teams provided that their expressions are not disruptive. And are not against any group of people, countries, or their dignities.
The US National Team Goalkeeper from 1993 to 2008, Briana Scurry said that kneeling is an important gesture. And acts as an effective tool for eradicating racism that has been persistent in the scorer culture for many decades.
Besides the women scorer players, Luciana Alvarado, a Costa Rican gymnast. Also showed the same gesture of racial equality. The Olympics, paying tribute to the Black Lives Matter Movement before her performance.
A political science professor at Linfield University in McMinnville, Patrick Cottrell said that women have a lot to be vocal about. Olympics have a terrible history of sexism. Previously, women were not allowed to participate in the Olympics. He pointed out the recent decision of prohibiting swim caps designed for black swimmers. And said that such rules and regulations will affect many women and athletes.
The German gymnastics team decided to go for comfort over tradition and so they chose to wear full-length unitards stretching to their ankles.
This activism began with a female athlete who became the headlines of news worldwide for her activism. Gwen Berry, a hammer thrower, while standing on the podium, turning away from the US flag when the national anthem is playing at the US Olympic track. Gwen qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by securing the third position. Berry said that the song, The Star-Spangled Banner was playing on purpose when she stood on the podium after receiving her bronze medal. She further claimed that it was decided that the song was scheduled to be played at the time. Before the players would depart from there.