Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement at the end of her first-floor routine at the Toyko Olympics on Sunday.
At the end of her performance, Alvarado kneeled while tilting her head back and raising a fist from her right hand.
According to the Associated Press, the 18-year-old first-time Olympian had said that she choreographed the end of her routine to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Friday, Alvarado said that she performed the move during training which she hoped to do during her routine to “highlight the importance of equal rights on a global stage, and champion treating all with respect and dignity.”
“Because we’re all the same,” she said, “and we’re all beautiful and amazing.”
Her routine on Sunday will be her only chance on the Olympic stage. The AP reported she scored a 12.166 on the floor, which did not qualify her to move on to the finals.
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
Since that was Alvarado’s only performance, she will likely not face any punishment for her political demonstration since it was technically part of her routine, according to multiple news organizations.
The International Olympic Committee changed certain rules leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The guidelines for the games were meant to allow athletes to “express their views” in mixed zones, during interviews or press conferences, and on social media.
The guidelines still meant to “preserve the competition” on the “Field of Play” during ceremonies, medal ceremonies, or in the Olympic Village. The IOC AC Chair Kirsty Coventry said, “The new guidelines are a result of our extensive consultation with the global athletes’ community.” Coventry added:
“While the guidelines offer new opportunities for athletes to express themselves prior to the competition, they preserve the competitions on the Field of Play, the ceremonies, the victory ceremonies and the Olympic Village. This was the wish of a big majority of athletes in our global consultation.”
According to Yahoo Sports, Alvarado is also the first gymnast from Costa Rica to qualify for the Olympics.