Gymnast takes knee during floor routine to pay tribute to Black Lives Matter movement

Luciana Alvarado
Posted at 9:45 AM, Jul 26, 2021

Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado says she incorporated a tribute to the Black Lives Movement into her floor routine during competition at the Tokyo Olympics.

Alvarado ended her routine in the qualifying round with her right knee on the ground with her head tilted skyward and her right fist high in the air.

She told the Associated Press that her final pose was a deliberate tribute to the Black Lives Matter Movement and that she hoped her routine would "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."

Alvarado's routine earned her a score of 12.166, which was not enough to move on to the finals.

Alvarado's demonstration comes after the International Olympic Committee earlier this year tweaked its rules to allow athletes more leeway to make gestures of protest on the field of play prior to competition. Despite those changes, the IOC still does not allow for demonstrations on the medal stand.

Because Alvarado's actions took place during competition, she will likely not face any repercussions from the IOC.

NBC reports that Alvarado was the first-ever gymnast from Costa Rica to ever qualify for the Olympic Games.