Gold medalist Race Imboden of United States takes a knee during the national anthem in the podium of Fencing Men's Foil Team Gold Medal Match on Day 14 of Lima 2019 Pan American Games on Aug. 9, 2019 in Lima, Peru. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez/Getty Images)
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Trying to keep the peace in a divided world
The International Olympic Committee announced its rules for political protest for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and some popular forms of athlete protest have been banned, according to The Hill.
While athletes will be allowed to say what they want during interview and news conferences outside the Olympic Village, and on social media, they won't be able to protest in the village, on the field of play, or during medal ceremonies.
The IOC defined political protest as "displaying any political messaging, including signs or armbands and gestures of a political nature, like a hand gesture or kneeling."
That prohibits some popular forms of public political protest by athletes, such as kneeling during the national anthem or making some sort of gesture during the medal ceremony.
The IOC ban on demonstrations also includes "religious or racial propaganda."
Two American athletes were disciplined by the IOC in August after protesting during medal ceremonies at the Pan American Games in Peru.
Fencing athlete Race Imboden kneeled, while hammer thrower Gwen Berry protested with a raised fist. Imoden was protesting racism, immigration policy, and President Donald Trump's rhetoric. Berry was protesting social injustice. They both received 12 months of probation.
After those protests, the IOC decided to release more specific guidelines for protests and demonstrations.
"We believe that the example we set by competing with the world's best while living in harmony in the Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world," the IOC guidelines read. "This is why it is important, on both a personal and a global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations."
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo begin July 24 and end Aug. 9. The Olympic athletes will sleep in beds with frames made out of cardboard, which will be recycled along with the mattresses. The bed frames will be recycled into paper, and the mattresses into plastic.
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