The world watched when US shot-putter Raven Saunders raised her arms into
an X shape
when she stood up on the podium after winning her event’s silver

When asked what the symbol means, Saunders said that it represents “the
intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet”.  

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The 25-year-old black and gay sportswoman has consistently spoken out about
her struggles with depression.

After competing in the Olympics and winning a silver medal, Saunders aims
to give light to “people all around the world who are fighting and don’t have
the platform to speak up for themselves”.

Upon coming in second, Saunders immediately broke into a twerk before running
out to her teammates to take her country’s flag and drape herself with it.

At the short-put event, China’s Gong Lijao won gold and New Zealand’s
Valerie Adams won bronze.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken note of Saunders’
protest. Ahead of the Olympics, the IOC had relaxed the ban on protests.
However, political demonstrations on the medal stand continue to be outlawed.

Saunders though is unconcerned. “I really think that my generation really
don’t care,” she said while taking the opportunity to give a shout out to “all
my LGBTQ community” and to all my people dealing with mental health issues.

Prior to her gesture at the podium, Saunders had already drawn attention of
fans with her collection of masks. While one of her masks was inspired by the
Marvel Comics character the Hulk, the other was inspired by the iconic
character Joker from the Batman franchise.

Mental health of people in sports emerged as a major conversation in the Tokyo
Olympics after Team USA’s gymnastics superstar Simone Biles withdrew from
several competitions in a bid to prioritise her mental well-being.

Protests in sports has turned both popular and controversial recently after
the athletes in several sports, especially in the US, used their platform to
protest systemic racism in the country.