Sunday, October 24

The podium of committed athletes, by Verónica Fumanal

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games started with a hydrogen flame that was intended to be the new energy sign of a cleaner and more sustainable world. This first symptom of the protest transcendence of the Olympic Games was but a first step towards what has been one of the editions with a lot of political message and in favor of equality. From here, I want to thank all the elite athletes who not only went to compete to be the best, but who wanted to compete to make a better world. This podium of values ​​is a small tribute.

Simon Bales It has been a symbol of ‘mens sana in corpore sana’. The iconic athlete interrupted her passage through the games to take care of her mental health, a pioneering gesture and more so because it is a somewhat taboo subject. Bales will go down in history as the gymnast who showed that the physical component is 50% of health if it is not accompanied by mental health. It goes without saying that this pandemic has brought to light the need to invest public resources, with a suicide rate in minors that should set off all alarms.

Gays and lesbians

Raven saunders He did not hesitate to cross his arms in the shape of an X to vindicate the rights of minorities, despite knowing the possible sanctions, which, fortunately, the IOC has decided not to apply. Saunders, black and lesbian, wanted the world that was admiring her ability to throw weight, to also realize the rights of minorities that will never have their projection.

Tom Daley, A gold medal on a synchronized ten-meter platform, he wanted to be the benchmark that he never had, stating that he was “gay and an Olympic champion.” And it is that we already know the reluctance that exists in sport, especially male, to talk about homosexuality. The message with the gold on the chest “No matter how lonely you feel now, you are not alone. You can achieve anything” is a song to all those who are afraid of not feeling understood by their sexual condition and is a gesture of courage extraordinary.

Tokyo, too, will go down in history for being the first time that a transsexual has participated, not without controversy, that New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard has faced in weightlifting. In total, 179 visible LGTBI athletes have participated, triple the number in Rio de Janeiro.

The Olympics had not started when Ona Carbonell denounced the impossibility of breastfeeding her son during the Games. This fact showed the added difficulty that high-level athletes have compared to their male colleagues, because work-life balance also continues to be a pending issue in sport.

After the complaint of the captain of the synchronized swimmers, it was several women’s gymnastics and beach handball teams who denounced the sexualized locker room that they are forced to wear, claiming equal treatment with respect to their male companions. But surely the athlete most vilified for her aesthetics was A Saint, the South Korean Olympic medalist attacked for wearing a too feminist hairstyle, that is, a short hair that received the support of thousands of feminists around the world who supported her against the attack of her compatriots.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya she has surely been the most famous athlete without a medal in these games. The Belarusian athlete requested political asylum due to fear of reprisals from the Lukashenko regime, whom the athlete had denounced on several occasions. Tsimanouskaya is now in Poland waiting for the IOC to clarify what happened.

Special mention should be made of the Spanish medalists who were the subject of controversy by some politicians in our country, something that turned them into icons by accident of causes that add to their sporting record.

Ray Zapata and Ana Peleiteiro they were improvised protagonists of a rancid controversy, when they were celebrating their successes and offering them to Spain and some racists were dedicated to distributing Spanish cards based on the epidermal tonality. Honestly, that Vox is a racist party we all knew, but I suppose it must hurt especially that the leader of the opposition congratulates your fellow delegates, gold in shooting and does not agree to publish a tweet to Shoe Y Furrier. It is more dangerous than we imagine.

Alberto Ginés, our gold climber, was also involved in an ideological controversy. In the networks he had declared himself a progressive and that alone was enough for some Kaffirs to reproach him for representing Spain. Alberto, you have the consolation of knowing that they will never reach as high as you.

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But controversies of time passed apart, Tokyo has been the symbol of good sport, of that in which the companions embrace and congratulate the winner with that sporting spirit that is behind the Olympic Games. Much sisterhood that reconciles us with a society that wants to get faster, higher, stronger. Together.

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