Tokyo Olympics silver-medalist in shotput, Raven Saunders has revealed a lot regarding the inner battles she fought during the time in Olympic village. Raven shocked Olympic viewers when she went to the podium and made an “X” symbol by crossing her wrists above her head (as shown in the picture above). She said that the X symbol is a form of protest and signified the intersection of oppressed communities.
It was in the moment I decided. We had already talked about what our demonstration was going to be, and I felt like it fitted perfectly. It's the intersection where all oppressed communities meet. Being a black, lesbian woman who deals with mental health, and knowing so many people who have disabilities, it only felt right for me. I've always been one to advocate for those whose voices weren't heard. And growing up, if I'd had the chance to witness someone like myself, it would have given me much more comfort to really be me.
Raven Saunders on the “X” Symbol
Before I opened up, I battled myself. I felt shamed and scared, the unknowingness of what people may or may not think. I’d built up such a persona of being so strong and mentally tough, that I can take and handle anything and nothing affects me. That was who I perceived myself to be, and how I put myself out there to the world. So going from that to being like: 'Well, I have these problems' - I felt so vulnerable for two or three days. I almost slipped back, but just hearing people's words of encouragement and how they could relate to that… I'm very thankful and blessed to have had that kind of reaction.
Raven Saunders on discovering her persona