(ATR) Christian Taylor has lofty ambitions both on and off the track.
The two-time defending Olympic triple jump champion certainly has his sights set on Tokyo in 2021, but considering the postponement, Taylor is equally determined to act as a catalyst for change as the new president of the Athletics Association. The organization is aiming to become a stronger voice for track and field athletes, entirely independent of the World Athletics governing body.
"We are striving to keep these governing bodies and athlete commissions accountable to make sure they are doing what we hope and believe they are doing," Taylor tells ATR’s Brian Pinelli in the latest video edition of ATRadio.
"We are hoping to work with them in a unique fashion – we are fighting the same fight."
The U.S. track and field star and the Athletics Association have issued a strong challenge while seeking change to the IOC’s Rule 50, which prohibits any form of athlete protests during Olympic medal ceremonies and on the field of play.
"It is clearly against our human right to [not] be able to express pain, grief, support, however you want to look at it in a peaceful manner, in a clear manner," Taylor said.
"It goes against the spirit of Olympism and it really goes against our human right."
Taylor acknowledges that athletes have the right to express any message or opinion in the mixed zone interview area but he insists that the impact of a peaceful protest at an Olympic medal ceremony is far greater.
"There is a significant weight that lies on that podium moment – the world is looking at you, the world is looking at that athlete, and that also shows how much power a protest at that moment can have.
"We are still talking about Dr. John Carlos to this day because of his actions, not because of what he did or did not say in the mixed zone or in the Olympic village, but what he did on the podium."
Homepage photo: Christian Taylor