Shot-Putter Raven Saunders Dedicates Olympic Podium Moment to ‘Oppressed People’

"Shout out to all my Black people. Shout out to all my LGBTQ community. Shout out to all my people dealing with mental health."

Shot-Putter Raven Saunders Dedicates Olympic Podium Moment to ‘Oppressed People’
Photo:Ryan Pierse (Getty Images)

Did somebody say “Olympics update post”? Did I already use this lede last weekend? No and perhaps.


  • American athlete Raven Saunders took home the silver medal in Women’s Shot Put. During the podium ceremony on Sunday, the 25-year-old crossed her wrists to form an “X,” an apparent violation of the International Olympic Committee’s rules against engaging in political demonstrations on the podium or during competition. Speaking to the press later, Saunders explained that she did so “for oppressed people.” [The New York Times]
  • “People all around the world…are fighting and don’t have the platform to speak up for themselves,” Saunders, who is Black and gay and has spoken publicly about her experiences with depression, also said. “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.” [BBC]
  • Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya appears be in huge trouble with her country’s government after speaking out against the negligence of her team’s coaches on Instagram. (The Belarusian National Olympic Committee is run by Victor Lukashenko, who is the brother of Belarus’ leader, Aleksandr Lukashenko.) “I am afraid that in Belarus they might put me in jail,” said Timanovskaya, who is now under the protection of Japanese authorities following the BNOC’s unsuccessful attempt to forcibly deport her back home. “I am not afraid that I will be fired or kicked out of the national team, I am worried about my safety. And I think that at the moment it is not safe for me in Belarus.” [The New York Times]
  • In lighter news, American gymnast McKayla Skinner dedicated her silver medal to Simone Biles, whose withdrawal from the vault allowed Skinner to compete in the event in the first place. [Deadline]
  • Not saying she should, but if Skinner wanted to trade her silver medal for cash she could simply melt it down and get like $450. That’s what this article says the value of it is. A gold medal, which is actually gold-plated silver, is worth about $800. A bronze is worth $5. [CNN]
  • Representatives for the Tokyo Olympics have confirmed another 18 cases of covid-19 among participants, at least one of whom is an athlete in the Olympic Village. A total of 264 people affiliated with the games have tested positive for the virus since July 1. [The Guardian]
  • Speaking of covid, the credentials of at least 14 participants have been revoked over violating pandemic-related restrictions. Two of those people are Georgian silver medalist judoka. [Sports Illustrated]
  • China currently has 23 gold medals, the most of any country competing in the Olympics, with 50 medals total. The United States has the most medals overall, though, with 59 (20 gold, 23 silver, 16 bronze). [CBS Sports]
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