To kick off the Olympics, history was made by an 18-year-old Costa Rican gymnast who ended her routine by paying homage to the Black Lives Matter movement. As the first gymnast from Costa Rica to ever qualify to the Olympics, Luciana Alvarado already had eyes on her before she booked her plane ticket to Japan. According to the Associated Press, the young Olympian ended her Olympic qualifying routine on one knee and a fist in the air, symbolizing her support for Black Lives Matter.
Alvarado later told AP that her routine finale was intentionally choreographed to bring awareness to this movement that spread following the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor last summer. Following her performance of the same routine on Friday during training, Alvarado had hope that she would be able to highlight equality and justice in her routine at the Olympics.
Alvarado’s routine, according to the gymnast herself and reported by ESPN, was curated to shine a light on “the importance of everyone treated with respect and dignity and everyone having the same rights because we’re all the same and we’re all beautiful and amazing.”
According to AP, Alvarado’s Friday routine only earned her 12.166 on the floor meaning, unfortunately, she will not be moving forward to the finals. Though The International Olympic Committee has “implemented rules to try to limit protest actions by athletes,” Alvarado’s movements and gestures alluding to the Black Lives Matter movement while incorporated into her choreography, are “unlikely to trigger repercussions.”
Missed Alvarado’s full performance? Check out a snippet captured and released on Twitter for your viewing pleasure!