Dina Asher-Smith brought up the spirit of salvation to the black power of Tommie Smith and John Carlos by insisting that it would be a mistake for the organizers of the sanction any athlete demonstrating against racism at the Tokyo Olympics.
In words just as powerful as the 47 foSteps she'll cross at the Olympic Stadium while sprinting to a gold in the 100m next week, Asher-Smith said she supported athletes taking a knee - before hinting that the International Olympic Committee would have a hard time preventing people from getting on the podium.
"Demonstrating and speaking out is a basic human right," Asher-Smith said. "If you were to penalize someone for speaking out against racial inequality, how would that be?" How the hell are you going to enforce that? "
" When people are very attached to something, especially when it is something that is close to your heart - and as a black woman you think racism - i just think you can'ts control people's voices on it. It is an incredibly difficult thing to do. "
The 25-year-old said she welcomed recent changes to IOC Article 50, to allow athletes to protest discreetly against the playing field. However, under the same rules, doing so on the podium comes with the threat of unspecified sanctions.
But Asher- Smith, who studied history at King 's College London before becoming a full-time athlete, wondered how this threat might play out in practice. "If you were to penalize someone or revoke a medal, how would that be optically?
Asher-Smith, who begins his quest for three medals in 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay next Friday, to draw parallels with the 1968 Games in Mexico.
"One of the most embThe Olympics was the black power salvation of Tommie Smith [and John Carlos] a long time ago, "she said." It's something people remember about the Olympics. Something that they are very proud to see on the Olympic Games . So to think that [the IOC] would suddenly stand up and say" absolutely not "... I think 'They would shoot themselves in the foot. "
Asher-Smith also admitted that she was inspired by the activism of Marcus Rashford and the performances of the England football team at the recent European Championship. And she is also committed to doing more to help and speak out after her adventure in Tokyo ends.
"They bring honor to our nation and show a good sense of moral leadership," she said. “I think as sportsmen we are proud, and as a black Brit I was really proud through the Euros. I thought they represented our nation and our community incredibly well.
Asher-Smith 's growing willingness to talk about a range of social issues is reflected in his increased confidence in these Olympic Games. While some athletes fade under the highest scrutiny, it generally thrives. Win the gold in the 200m and the Silver in the 100m at the 2019 world championships showed she belonged to the elite of the elite. Now after recovering from what she calls a "cranky hamstring Which forced her to miss the race at Gateshead last week, she insists onso nothing scares him in To kyo.
"At Heathrow, many British Airways employees said, 'Are you nervous? I was like, "No, what's to be nervous about 'It is obviously on another scale but I ' ve been lining up for the races since I was am eight years old and very, very good at it. The stakes change, the mechanics change, the precision changes, but basically it's something I do week after week. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. "
In terms of fastest times this year, Asher-Smith is ranked ninth over 100m and 200m while that her rivals like Jamaicans Elaine Thomson Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran much faster. But Asher-Smith dismisses suggestions that she might be intimidated and, having often run in bad weather and slow tracks this year she thinks it rained a lots to show.
"I know what I can do " she said, adding that she was in good shape to beat her British records. “For me, it doesn't matter what people are running around you, because a championship is a whole different ball game. Everyone has their predictions written down on paper, but we don't run on paper, we run on the trail. "
However, Asher-Smith admitted that 'she felt sympathy for her American rival Sha ' Carri Richardson who was banned from these Games after taking marijuana in competition.
“I'm sorry for her because her mother passed away,” she said. “The rules are the rules, but the girl was in mourning so I wholeheartedly stand with her in this situation. Nobody wants to lose a parentnt. It's horrible. But I hope we both have very long careers and it's not just one person. There are so many talented women who can run incredibly fast. "
Meanwhile, as time is running out for these Games, Asher-Smith is feeling more and more excited. "My coach John Blackie always tells me to calm my excitement throughout the season until the championships let him go " she said.
"He told me yesterday that I can turn me on so that you see more energy from me now. I am really excited to be going out there. The Olympics are the pinnacle of our sport. I love a show, I love a stage. And I like putting on a great performance when it 's important, when the lights are really on. "
And would someone really be surprised if Dina delivered again?