Athletes competing for medals at the Olympics have differing ways of celebrating their triumph. While most of them beat their fist in the air or jump in ecstasy on qualifying for the subsequent rounds or achieving victory, United States Shot Putter Raven Saunders had a peculiar style of celebrations that have raised many eyebrows.
Saunders secured second place in the women’s shot put tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and she marked her victory by twerking in front of the camera. After winning a silver medal in the shot put tournament at the Tokyo Olympics, Saunders was seen sashaying in front of the camera, before breaking into twerk.
US shot-putter Raven Saunders twerks in front of the camera at the Tokyo Olympics. pic.twitter.com/3m6tU2PQhh— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 3, 2021
Her sheer power in the shot put category was evident with her win being a finishing distance of 19.79 meters, second to China’s Lijiao Gong. However, Saunders’s second throw was regarded to be even farther, possibly enough to challenge for gold if not for a foul called for stepping outside of the circle.
Nevertheless, Saunders appeared ecstatic at bagging the silver medal, celebrating her victory by twerking in front of the cameras. The Olympics broadcast quickly aired pulled the camera away after realising what Saunders was doing after winning the silver medal. Besides twerking, Saunders is also known for her idiosyncratic demeanour—wearing technicolour sunglasses, purple and green hair and an Incredible Hulk facemask.
Needless to say, Saunder’s twerking created quite a flutter on the internet, with reactions pouring in from a large number of social media users.
One user was sardonic in criticising Saunders for twerking on camera. In a sarcastic jibe, the user said “nothing screams oppression better than multicoloured hair guy twerking on live TV”.
Nothing screams oppression better than multicolored hair guy twerking on live TV https://t.co/B3lQgo578f— Ben Faley (@BenFaley) August 3, 2021
Another concerned American on Twitter remarked that twerking on live TV in a country that clucks over chewing food in public has made the United States a laughing stock.
On foreign soil that sees chewing food in public as disrespect. America is a laughing stock.— Paul Sites🕶🌑 (@paulsites1) August 3, 2021
Yet another Twitter user was quite snarky in commenting that what Saunders did on live TV could not be compared to twerking.
Slinging ass fat is not twerking. It’s gross— Bryan (@73easting) August 3, 2021
There were numerous others who did not take kindly to the gesture.
#RavenSaunders twerking is an embarrassment to USA. We are the laughing stock of the world. Such a gross display. Absolutely disgusting.— OneDayAtATime1990🇺🇸 (@OTime1990) August 3, 2021
US shot-putter Raven Saunders twerking in front of the camera at the Tokyo Olympics. The US is lost 🤦🏻♂️— Mister Greencard (@AGreencards) August 3, 2021
Let me guess, @GiveMe1Shot, no positive role model?— bella (@BellaRainie) August 2, 2021
For future reference, when you’re representing the country that made this opportunity possible for you, nix the grotesque moves.
What an demeaning moment for you, @TeamUSA & @Olympics https://t.co/HiA6zTqGRV
This is undignified and very embarrassing to the USA. https://t.co/OPy1SutCiC— Dr. Interracial 🇺🇸 (@sandyleevincent) August 3, 2021
Classless. Just not even surprising anymore. https://t.co/dNccKqeMeB— Mrs. B Conservative (@IBAConservative) August 3, 2021
While her twerking was seemingly censored, Saunders continued her theatrics when she was called upon the podium to receive her medal. Raising her arms above her head as she crossed her wrists to form an “X,” the 25-year-old shot put player told the media that the gesture symbolized “the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet”.