MUST-SEE ATHLETES CONNECT: ATHLETE ACTIVISTS DR. JOHN CARLOS, KIKKAN RANDALL AND ALIANN POMPEY DEBATE RULE 50
Olympic legend Dr. John Carlos, Olympic Champion Kikkan Randall and four-time Olympian and Panam Sports Athlete Commission President Aliann Pompey will join moderator and three-time Pan Am Games Champion Alexandra Orlando for an intriguing conversation about the future of the Olympic Movement and the important role athletes must play in shaping that future.
Possible solutions to the scrutinized Rule 50 of the IOC barring athlete protests from the Games will be the main topic up for debate, featuring Dr. John Carlos as one of the men who shed light on this controversial issue with his podium protest at the Mexico 1968 Olympics.
As professional sports leagues and international competitions begin to gradually return, it is vital that the voice of the athlete is elevated not only to safeguard their health and wellbeing, but also to ensure that policies and practices are created that benefit the athletes who make these competitions possible.
But the voices and actions of athletes can also be used to create positive social change outside of the field of play. Today more than ever, athletes are using their platforms to advocate for these changes throughout the world, from issues of racial or gender equality to human rights and everything in between.
Continuing with its commitment to amplify the athlete voice, Panam Sports and its Athlete Commission organized the first virtual discussion on July 9 about the future of sport, including the return to competition, changes to anti-doping and the future of Rule 50.
More than 65 athlete leaders from throughout the Americas and the world participated in the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, with the majority of that time spent discussing the benefits and drawbacks of athlete protests at international Games, as well as potential solutions to this controversial issue.
This week, Panam Sports is proud to provide a platform for athletes to continue this conversation with a special program called “Athletes Connect: Leaders of the Americas Look Towards the Future”. The session will be moderated by former Panam Sports Athlete Commission President and three-time Pan Am Games Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics, Alexandra Orlando, who will be joined by an incredible panel of athlete activists, live this Thursday, July 30 on the Panam Sports Channel.
Current Panam Sports Athlete Commission President and four-time Olympian in Athletics, Aliann Pompey, will lead the conversation by fist providing a recap of the outcomes from the athlete meeting on July 9. Since her election following the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games, Aliann has worked hard to increase athlete representation throughout the Olympic Movement in the Americas and create opportunities for athletes to make their voice heard.
The first guest of honor is Olympic legend Dr. John Carlos, known best for his podium protest at the Mexico 1968 Olympics where he raised his fist in protest of racial inequality in the United States alongside teammate and Olympic Champion Tommie Smith. Both John Carlos and Tommie Smith were expelled from the Games despite winning the bronze and gold medals respectively in the Men’s 200m in Athletics. John also became the Pan American Games Champion in the 200m at Winnipeg 1967 and continues his role as an activist for social change to this day. His iconic protest at Mexico 1968 has been immortalized in the Olympic Hall of Fame and continues as a symbol for the power athletes have more than 50 years later.
Joining Aliann and John is Olympic and World Champion in Cross-Country Skiing, Kikkan Randall. Kikkan is often considered the best Cross-Country Skier in U.S. history, competing in five Winter Olympics and winning the gold medal in the Team Sprint with teammate Jessica Diggins at PyeongChang 2018, in addition to her 17 National Championships and World Championship gold medal in 2013. Kikkan is now an IOC Member representing the U.S. on the IOC Athlete’s Commission, a Board Member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and a “Get-Active”ist who promotes healthy and active lifestyles to youth audiences.
Do not miss this exciting conversation with these four great athletes and social advocates, only available on the Panam Sports Channel, live this Thursday at 5pm (ET).