US fencing medalist Imboden bends the knee at Pan Am Games
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Olympic fencing medalist Race Imboden took a knee in protest during his team’s foil medal ceremony at the Pan American Games.
The American knelt during the national anthem at the medal ceremony Friday to protest racial and social injustice. He won a bronze medal in the individual men’s foil event and then took gold in the team competition with Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin.
“This week I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan Am Games, taking home Gold and Bronze,” Imboden said on Twitter. “My pride however has been cut short by the multiple shortcomings of the country I hold so dear to my heart. Racism, Gun Control, mistreatment of immigrants.
The 26-year-old competed in London 2012 and Rio 2016, where he won the team bronze medal.
“Every athlete competing at the 2019 Pan American Games commits to terms of eligibility, including to refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature. In this case, Race didn’t adhere to the commitment he made to the organizing committee and the USOPC,” Mark Jones, Vice President of Communications, USOPC said in a statement on Saturday.
“We respect his rights to express his viewpoints, but we are disappointed that he chose not to honor his commitment. Our leadership are reviewing what consequences may result.”