Olympics Halts Investigation Into Raven Saunders' Protest After Passing Of Her Mom
The International Olympic Committee said it "extends its condolences to Raven and her family" and will be suspending its investigation.
August 02, 2021 at 6:43 pm
Update (August 4, 2021): The International Olympic Committee has halted its investigation into Raven Saunders’ “X” gesture after the track and field athlete took to social media to announce that her mother died.
The Olympian's mom, Clarissa Saunders, passed away on Tuesday, just days after attending a 2020 Tokyo Olympics watch party in Orlando, Florida to see Raven earn the silver medal in a shot-put competition, as Blavity previously reported.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said that the committee "extends its condolences to Raven and her family,” The Hill reported.
“Given these circumstances, the process at the moment is fully suspended,” he continued.
On Tuesday, Raven shared that she would take a break from all social media platforms in order to focus on her mental health, CNN reported.
“My mama was a great woman and will forever live through me,” Raven said.
Earlier this week, the committee announced it would launch an investigation into whether Raven, 25, violated protesting rules by making an “X” gesture during her medal ceremony, as Blavity previously reported.
The shot putter, who is Black and is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, said she made an “X” symbol using her arms to honor those who are oppressed and are battling mental health issues.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee defended Raven and wrote a letter to the IOC stating that she didn’t demonstrate during the medals ceremony nor did she demonstrate while one of her competitor’s national anthems played, USA Today reported.
USOPC Spokeswoman Kate Hartman thanked the IOC for suspending its investigation and giving Raven time and space to grieve the loss of her mother.
“We appreciate the empathy shown toward Raven by the IOC during this difficult time,” Hartman said.
Original (August 2, 2021): Olympic shot putter Raven Saunders took a bold stance for members of both the Black and LGBTQ+ communities who struggle with mental illness and now she's at the center of an investigation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
During Sunday’s medal ceremony, the 25-year-old athlete made an “X” gesture with her arms above her head while she stood on the podium after earning a silver medal in the shot-put competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.