A Costa Rican gymnast paid homage to the Black Lives Matter movement during her floor routine at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, kneeling while tilting her head back and raising her right fist in the air at the conclusion of her performance.
Luciana Alvarado, 18, said she performed the move during training and had hoped to show it on the world stage to call attention to racial inequality and advocate for treating all individuals with respect and dignity, according to The Associated Press.
“Because we’re all the same,” she said, according to the AP, “and we’re all beautiful and amazing.”
Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado took a knee and raised her fist after her floor routine at the #TokyoOlympics in support of #BLM. @MrShannonLanier says, "I think it was a beautiful sentiment because it just isn't our fight here. This is a global issue that we're facing." pic.twitter.com/cgzCoPl1GU— BNC (@BNCNews) July 26, 2021
The International Olympic Committee earlier this month approved guidelines for the games that allow athletes to “express their views” in mixed zones, during interviews or press conferences, on social media or on the field prior to the state or competition, in addition to other places.
The regulations, however, "preserve the competition" on the “Field of Play,” during ceremonies, medal ceremonies or in the Olympic Village.
“This was the wish of a big majority of athletes in our global consultation,” the committee wrote.
Alvarado, however, is unlikely to face punishment for her demonstration, according to several news organizations, because it was part of her routine.
She is the first gymnast from Costa Rica ever to qualify for the Olympics, according to Yahoo Sports.
That performance, however, will be her last at Tokyo 2020, as she did not qualify for the finals, the AP reported. She scored a 12.166 for her routine.