Costa Rican gymnast's Olympic routine includes support for BLM

Alvarado failed to move into the finals of the competition but chose to make an impact in a different way. She told the GymCastic podcast afterward she wanted to show the importance of equal rights.

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“My cousin and I, we both do it in our routines,” she said. “And I feel like if you do something that brings everyone together, you know, and you see that here, like ‘Yes, you’re one of mine, you understand things,’ the importance of everyone treated with respect and dignity and everyone having the same rights because we’re all the same and we’re all beautiful and amazing so I think that’s why I love to have it in my routine and I love that my little cousin does it on her routine too.”

She said it was choreographed to pay homage to the Black Lives Matter movement. She said Friday she performed the same move at training.

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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. It doesn’t appear Alvarado would be taking the medal stand in Tokyo.

Luciana Alvarado, of Costa Rica, performs on the floor exercise during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Luciana Alvarado, of Costa Rica, performs on the floor exercise during the women’s artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) (GM)

The U.S. women’s soccer team and other soccer squads took a knee before their opening Olympic matches last week. The players have not been subject to discipline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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