A committed podium. American Raven Saunders, Olympic vice-champion in the shot put this Sunday, celebrated her silver medal on the Olympic Games podium by forming an X with her arms, a message to the oppressed.

According to the American press, Raven Saunders, a black athlete very invested in the defense of the rights of the LGBT community, explained that she represented “all people across the world who are fighting and who do not have a platform to make their voice heard ”. “My message is to keep fighting, pushing and finding value in who you are, in everything you do,” she said at a press conference after the weight competition.

“It’s important for me to bring back this silver medal, because I represent so many different people, I know there are a lot of people looking at me, sending me messages and praying for me, ”she explained. “I’m happy to bring this medal home for them too, not just for me,” Saunders said.

Allowed in front of the media, not on the podium The athlete of 25 years is the first sportswoman since the start of the Tokyo Games to use the medal ceremony as a political platform.

Before kick-off of the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had announced that athletes could now express themselves on political or societal issues when addressing the media, before and after their competition, during meetings of team or on social networks.

But podiums and medal ceremonies were not included in the new IOC provisions, which suggests that Saunders is theoretically sanctionable by the Olympic body, which did not wish to comment on a possible penalty. On Twitter, the athlete did not seem particularly worried. “Let them try to come and take this medal. I’m running for the border even though I can’t swim, ”she commented.

“We are in contact with the American Olympic and Paralympic Committee and with World Athletics (the International Athletics Federation, Editor’s note), we are going to study this file, we need to understand precisely what it happened, ”the body explained simply during its daily press briefing in Tokyo.