Another Olympian To Root Against.

Gwen Berry is an female athlete who competes in the field event of the hammer throw.

After finishing third and qualifying for the Olympics, the organizers of the Olympic trials played the National Anthem.

Unlike the Olympics, anthems aren’t played to accompany medal ceremonies at the trials. But the hammer throwers received their awards just before the start of the evening session, which has been kicking off all week with a videotaped rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

USA Track and Field spokeswoman Susan Hazzard said “the national anthem was scheduled to play at 5:20 p.m. today. We didn’t wait until the athletes were on the podium for the hammer throw awards. The national anthem is played every day according to a previously published schedule.” On Saturday, the music started at 5:25.

Berry was offended by the playing of the National Anthem.

EUGENE, Ore. — For the past week, the national anthem has played one time per evening at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. On Saturday, the song happened to start while outspoken activist Gwen Berry was standing on the podium after receiving her bronze medal in the hammer throw.

While the music played, Berry placed her left hand on her hip and fidgeted. She took a quarter turn, so she was facing the stands, not the flag. Toward the end, she plucked up her black T-shirt with the words “Activist Athlete” emblazoned on the front, and draped it over her head.

“I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the timing of the anthem. “I was pissed, to be honest.”


And so, while Price and Andersen stood still on the podium with their hands over the hearts and stared straight ahead at the American and Oregon flags, Berry fidgeted and paced on the third step. Then she turned away and finally grabbed her T-shirt.

“They said they were going to play it before we walked out, then they played it when we were out there,” said Berry. “But I don’t really want to talk about the anthem because that’s not important. The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”

If the anthem doesn’t speak for her, or the country who is paying the bills for her to go to the Olympics, Berry should do the right and ethical thing and not go.

If you don’t like the United States, then don’t take the country’s money and walk out onto the Olympic stage representing the US.

If you think the US is so horrible in granting you the opportunity to compete far ahead of other countries who still do not allow women in certain disciplines, go elsewhere. Leave. Get out.

If the flag and the anthem doesn’t represent Berry, then she shouldn’t be representing the US.

2 Responses to “Another Olympian To Root Against.”

  1. Percy Veer says:

    I cannot understand why the USA Track and Field organization would even consider an Anti-USA athlete to represent the USA. Olympic athletes should be held to a higher standard and the first hurdle should be “do you support our country”, if the don’t clear that hurdle they should find another country’s team to compete on. Seeing the USA win medals is great but these athletes also serve as role models for young athletes, not rabble rouser’s trying to push some agenda.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Percy Veer,

      Thanks for the comment and we agree on all points.

      The interesting thing is that the US Olympic Committee has said that they will not try to prevent or punish those who make political statements.

      The International Olympic Committee has said they will kick out athletes that make political statements and send them home.

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.