The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are underway and many athletes have been making headlines, not only due to their performances, but also because they have been using their voices for activism, be it mental health or social justice. Among them, there is Gwen Berry, a 32-year old hammer thrower of the US Olympic track and field team.
Berry made headlines during the Olympic trials when she turned her back on the American flag during the national anthem. Although, according to her and the press, the anthem wasn’t supposed to be playing at that moment, she still protested by putting a shirt that said "activist athlete" over her head while turning away from the flag.
But her protest for social justice began two years earlier when she raised her fist on the medals stand at the Pan American Games. Of course, she’s not only good at using her voice to talk about pressing issues as she is set to compete in the most important sporting event this week. Here, check out when Berry is competing in Tokyo.
When does Gwen Berry compete at the Olympics?
Berry already made it through the qualification for the women’s hammer throw on Saturday. She had the third-best distance of Group B with a throw of 73.9 meters, behind Camryn Rodgers of Canada (73.97 meters) and Chinese Zheng Wang (74.29m).
Now, she will be competing in the final which will take place on Tuesday, August 3, at 7:35 am (ET). Though Berry is not one of the clear favorites to be in the podium, many people wonder what she will do if she wins as the “political demonstrations” have long been forbidden in the Olympics.
However, for Berry that is not a problem. She told the AP that “I don’t need to do anything sport-wise (...) What I need to do is speak for my community, to represent my community and to help my community. Because that’s more important than sports.”