IOC Questions Badges Worn by Chinese Athletes at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/04/2021, 3:13 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Cycling – Track – Women’s Team Sprint – Medal Ceremony – Izu Velodrome, Shizuoka, Japan – August 2, 2021. Gold medallists Bao Shanju of China and Zhong Tianshi of China wearing protective face masks pose with badges of the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong pinned to their tracksuits REUTERS/Matthew Childs


Before the commencement of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, IOC had warned athletes to refrain from any protests during the events. However, still, some athletes have been on the radar.

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During the victory ceremony, Chinese athletes had worn a piece of accessory that caught the IOC’s attention. The pin badges worn by Chinese athletes had the image of Mao Zedong, the founder of the Communist Party in China. China is now being questioned by IOC for this act at the podium finish.

IOC investigating relations between Chinese and American athletes act

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The incident of Chinese athletes came one day after a US athlete had crossed the wrists of her raised hands at the podium. Raven Saunders had clinched the silver medal in the shotput event. Interestingly, China had secured the gold medal.

As Raven had raised her hands standing next to China, the IOC asked for an explanation. Albeit, according to Raven, it was a sign to keep fighting and never give up. Sadly, just a day after her win, Raven lost her mother.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s Shot Put – Medal Ceremony – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Silver medallist, Raven Saunders of the United States gestures on the podium REUTERS/Hannah Mckay SEARCH “OLYMPICS DAY 11” FOR TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS EDITOR’S CHOICE, SEARCH “REUTERS OLYMPICS TOPIX” FOR ALL EDITOR’S CHOICE PICTURES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

IOC has shown support for Raven and has suspended actions against her for the time being. However, Chinese athletes wearing images of Mao on their badge pins have put them in the questioning box. This event took place during the victory ceremony of the women’s track event.

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As of now, the IOC is awaiting an explanation from the Chinese Olympic committee. If the above act comes under the violation of Charter Rule 50, IOC can take strict actions against the athletes.

Olympic Charter Rule 50 at Tokyo Olympics 2020

The goal of mega-quadrennial games is to promote unity and solidarity amongst nations. Hence, IOC brought in the charter to restrict any political, promotional, publicity, religious or racial act that hinders the goal. In case anyone violates these rules, they will face immediate disqualification from the games.

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Although athletes may express themselves freely at press conferences or media interactions, the act of Chinese athletes is currently under investigation by the IOC and president Thomas Bach.

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Shreya Verma

209 articles

Shreya Verma is an NBA and Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. A graduate of Political Science, Shreya comes from a strong sports background. A professional 10m air pistol shooter, Shreya is also a tennis enthusiast.

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