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International Games
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Lewis Plans to Take Part in Para Podium Protest Discussion

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes' Council has launched an online portal for Para-athletes to register and take part in a consultation about athlete protests at the Paralympic Games.

The IPC says the exercise will gather a better understanding of ways Para-athletes could express their views on key subjects while respecting the Paralympic Movement's values and principles.

Para-athletes will be able to register to the portal online until August 24th.

The move from the IPC follows the International Olympic Committee tasking its Athletes Commission to conduct a similar exercise amid growing pressure on the organization to relax or abolish its Rule 50, which prohibits athletes from protesting at the Olympic Games.

Rule 50 states: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

www.islandstats.com contacted Bermuda Paralympian Jessica Lewis to get her take on the topic.

Lewis said, “I am all for freedom of speech and understand the need for protesting but I feel that on the podium at a Paralympic Games isn’t the right venue.

As an athlete who works so hard towards trying to make it onto that podium, I know that when/if that happens I would want that moment to be all about that achievement especially if that was my first time on the podium.

With everyone’s different opinions you may also be on the podium with someone who is protesting something you may not agree with.

It’s certainly a tough decision for the IPC to make because they would have to draw a line somewhere on the guidelines for a protest.

I think it is great they are opening up to athletes though so they can make a really informed decision on how it will directly impact the athlete experience.

I think I will participate as it will be interesting to hear other athlete’s perspectives.”
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