Olympics: Germany hockey captain allowed to wear rainbow colours at Tokyo

The international Olympic Committee has allowed Germany womens team captain Nike Lorenz, to wear a rainbow colour band on her socks at the Tokyo Olympic Games to support sexual diversity.

The 24-year-old Nike, a known activist who has previously worn rainbow items in other matches in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender movement, will wear the band during her team’s opening match against Great Britain at Oi Hockey Stadium on Sunday.

The decision by the IOC is the latest sign of athlete activism at the Olympic Games here after the IOC relaxed its Rule 50 restrictions, www.insidethegames.biz, a popular website covering Olympic sports reported.

Rule 50 states that “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” But athletes can now demonstrate at specific times and in certain areas before their competition at the Games, the report said.

Using a rainbow flag to celebrate sexuality began in the 1970s in San Francisco but it is now a well known symbol across the world. It has been used in sport through initiatives such as the Rainbow Laces campaign, which encourages athletes to don special shoelaces to show their support, the report said.

Political statements have already been seen at Tokyo 2020 after the first day of sport on Wednesday. Five women’s football teams took the knee before kickoff and Australia’s players posed with an Aboriginal flag.