The IOC Has Suspended Its Investigation Into Raven Saunders' Podium Demonstration


NPR 04 August, 2021 - 02:46pm 24 views

When do the Tokyo Olympics end?

Tokyo 2020 will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 8, with several events, including volleyball, boxing, and the men's marathon all scheduled for the final day of competition. TIMEWhat to Know About the Tokyo Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony

Why it matters: The Tokyo Games offered the ultimate platform for the topic to get global attention, with much of the world watching the same story.

Biles sparked a bigger conversation about mental health than either Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah or Naomi Osaka's withdrawal from the French Open — both of which generated significant international interest.

By the numbers: In the week following Biles' withdrawal from the team event, stories about the gymnast and mental health generated more than 2 million social media interactions (likes, comments, shares) — 25% higher than Meghan and Harry in the days following their interview.

The big picture: The intensity of coverage around mental health has picked up with major events over the course of the year.

Between the lines: Biles, Osaka and Markle all cited the burden of expectation as stars from whom much is demanded.

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles made her Olympic return on Tuesday, winning bronze in the individual balance beam final.

Why it matters: Biles is now tied with Shannon Miller as the most decorated U.S. Olympic gymnast of all time, with seven total medals.

Simone Biles has not had the Olympics she or anyone else expected.

The big picture: She pulled out of the team event, the individual all-around and three events finals to prioritize her mental health. Despite the setback, however, she got back on the beam on Tuesday and won bronze. She continues to be lauded as the greatest of all time, showing her courage on and off the mat.

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

🥇: Sydney McLaughlin breaks own world record to win gold in 400m hurdles

📈: Simone Biles' exit brings global attention to mental health

🦠: Greece's artistic swimming team to miss Olympics after COVID outbreak

🏃🏾‍♂️: Tampa teen phenom Erriyon Knighton eyes gold in Tokyo

🛫: Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya departs Tokyo for Vienna

.📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 12 highlights

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Read full article at NPR

Olympian Raven Saunders suffers family tragedy, IOC suspends probe into 'X' gesture

Fox News 04 August, 2021 - 08:30pm

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American silver medalist Raven Saunders revealed Wednesday her mother, Clarissa Saunders, had died.

The shot-putter wrote on Twitter she was going to take time away from social media to deal with the tragic loss of her mother.

The details behind Clarissa Saunders' death were not known.

Saunders won the silver medal in the event over the weekend and caused a stir when she stepped off the medal stand and crossed her arm in an "X" over her head. She explained the "X" is "the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet."

The gesture sparked an International Olympic Committee (IOC) inquiry even after the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said it didn’t break their rules regarding athlete protests.

The IOC on Wednesday said it was suspending its investigation over Saunders’ mother’s death.

"The IOC obviously extends its condolences to Raven and her family," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "Given these circumstances, the process at the moment is fully suspended."

The USOPC said: "We appreciate the empathy shown toward Raven by the IOC during this difficult time."

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Fencer protests gun violence, IOC with 'X' written on hand

Yahoo Sports 04 August, 2021 - 08:30pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski

You Pod to Win the Game

"The X is a symbol of solidarity," Imboden tweeted. "Some of the athletes communicated and decided upon this symbol to show solidarity for each other and support the oppressed. For me I personally wore the symbol as a demonstration against rule 50." That IOC rule forbids protest or propaganda during the Olympics. 

— Race Imboden (@Race_Imboden) August 3, 2021

"In support of athletes of color," Imboden continued, "Ending Gun violence, and all the athletes and who wish to use their voice on the platform they’ve earned. I also wish to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the IOC, and all of the organizations who profit so immensely off the athletes and have yet to hear their call for change."

On Sunday, during podium photos, not the anthem, Saunders raised her arms to form an X, later saying it represented "the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet." 

The IOC indicated it would investigate Saunders' actions, but more recently suspended that investigation following the death of Saunders' mother

Imboden has brought protest to the podium in the past. At the 2019 Pan-American Games, where the United States won the gold medal, Imboden took a knee on the podium:

— Race Imboden (@Race_Imboden) August 10, 2019

Imboden indicated at the time that he was protesting in support of gun control and immigrants, and against racism and then-President Donald Trump. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee put him on probation for 12 months for the protest. 

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at

United States fencer and bronze medallist Race Imboden said that an X mark drawn on the back of his hand during the medal ceremony at Tokyo 2020 was in protest against a ban on political gestures on Olympic podiums. U.S. shot put silver medallist Raven Saunders also raised her arms in an X sign during her podium, which prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to look into the gesture. They subsequently suspended the probe following the death of Saunders' mother.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson was injured during a heptathlon race, but she waved off assistance and finished the race under her own power.

Gomez received her transplant in 2017.

An Olympic world record isn't going to help against the IOC copyright infringement rules.

Japan warned on Wednesday that coronavirus infections were surging at an unprecedented pace as new cases hit a record high in Tokyo, overshadowing the Olympics and adding to doubts over the government's handling of the pandemic. The Delta variant was leading to a spread of infections "unseen in the past", Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said as he defended a new policy of asking patients with milder symptoms to isolate at home rather than going to hospital. "If things don't turn out as we expect, we can roll back the policy," Tamura said, adding the policy shift was a move to deal with the unexpectedly fast spread of the new variant.

In an interview, Biles reflected on how these Games have changed and helped her mental health, and even hinted that she might return in 2024.

As the Delta variant of the coronavirus fuels more cases across the U.S., and as scientists discover that vaccinated people can experience breakthrough infections more than expected, a majority of Americans once again favors mask mandates, according to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

Pete Parada, the drummer for the Offspring, has found out the hard way that some businesses — and even bands — are drawing a hard line on requiring vaccinations to come back to work. He posted on his social media Tuesday that he’s been ousted from the group because he won’t agree to get the […]

“I’m kind of shocked people have actually been so mean and cruel in many cases, passing judgment of both these incredible female athletes.”

As one opposing (and thankful) AFC general manager opined this week of the Rodgers and Broncos marriage that never happened: “[Rodgers] would have moved them onto a Super Bowl level this year.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he regretted signing a law banning local mask mandates as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in his state.

Dalilah Muhammad, also of Team USA, won the silver medal.

Raven Saunders, the American Olympian facing a possible investigation for making a protest gesture on the podium over the weekend, told the New York Times Monday that U.S. athletes had planned "for weeks" to demonstrate against oppression. Why it matters: Protests are banned at the Tokyo Games. Saunders told the NYT a group of American Olympians had settled on the "X" symbol, which she gestured on the podium after winning silver in the shot put Sunday, to represent "unity with oppressed people."

Paul showing up in Phoenix and turning the Suns into NBA finalists turned heads around the league — in more ways than one. Teams that feel close enough to contention threw caution to the wind and money at players’ doorsteps.

Since Trump's defeat and the Jan. 6 insurrection, the QAnon movement is trying to revise its history and has embraced other conspiracy theories.

Flight attendants duct-taped a man during a Frontier Airlines flight this week after the man allegedly punched another man and groped two women.

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