July 26, 2021

"Costa Rica’s lone gymnast Luciana Alvarado finished her Tokyo Olympics floor routine Sunday by taking a knee and raising a fist in apparent support of the Black Lives Matter movement...."

"It's unlikely Alvarado’s gesture, which was incorporated into her artistic routine, would garner any punishment from the International Olympic Committee. The IOC relaxed some aspects of Rule 50, which prohibits political gestures from athletes in the Olympics. The IOC said athletes can protest but not during a competition or on the medal stand." 

Fox News reports.

It's an "artistic routine," so one must be free to do gestures that have meaning. Maybe change the sport to get rid of the non-sporty dance moves. I think protest dancing is a bad choice for the nonsensical wiggling and emoting that's part of women's but not men's gymnastics, but they shouldn't allow some expressions and punish others. If "I am a cutesy sprite who can get a little sexy" is an acceptable expression then "I object to police brutality" must also be accepted. 


Ann Althouse said...

Tina writes:

"Unfortunately, "I am a cutesy sprite who can get a little sexy" is also far too often a correlative to "I object to police brutality."

"It's all fashion.

"Wait until the cultural revolution decrees that fashion is not woke anymore."

Ann Althouse said...

Washington Blogger writes:

"I stopped watching the Olympics quite some time ago, but I still keep a bit of an eye on things from time to time. Stories like Alvarodos's will not bring me back. Stories like Hidilyn Diaz's from the Philippines would help bring be in as a consumer. I want to see stories of people triumphing, showing humility, gratitude or grit. Real human interest stories. Shove politics in my face and I just turn you off."

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I avoid anything political on television, so if politics pops into something I'm watching, it's similar to having pornography show up when I'm trying to do my ordinary websurfing. Which, by the way, never happens. I'm just saying if that was part of reading on line — that sometimes pornography inserts itself — it would greatly reduce or end my interest in reading on line.

Ann Althouse said...

Assistant Village Idiot writes:

"I think there is a distinction that is possible, though not obligatory.

"Some grandmaster once asserted "Every match is a furious argument about how chess should be played." Something like this happens with any judged sport, such as figure skating or platform diving. There is an argument entirely within the boundaries of the sport of what constitutes excellence. When we were young, women's gymnastics was leggy, graceful women doing cartwheels, and men's events were deeply focused on arm and should strength rather than overall. There was great resentment against the Olga Korbut's, with routines that said "Gymnastics should be this and not that. It should be athletic, risky, young, and cute rather than graceful, elegant, mature, and controlled." The men's events underwent similar those less-dramatic changes, but we don't remember who those guys were. Because why should we, really?

"Being a cutesy sprite was a statement, but it was entirely in-house.

"Larger political comments are a step farther back in observation. The athlete's statement is no longer entirely in-house. It is related more to status as an athlete in general, as a performer in general, as a celebrity in general. Cutesy sprite is a statement about gymnastics, and perhaps at one remove, changing definitions of femininity. Police brutality is entirely outside that boundary. I think it is legitimate to say "I am using this stage for a larger issue," but also to say "such things have nothing to do with gymnastics per se." I lean very much to the latter. It is supposed to be entertainment, and at most, enacting a mythology of accomplishment. You can get politics anywhere, and I don't need theirs, even when I agree with it."