Gwen Berry tried her best, but in the end, she would not medal during the women’s hammer throw finals on Tuesday. Berry finished in eleventh place out of twelve competitors, registering a distance of 71.35 meters.
“I’m just here to represent, man,” Berry said. “I know a lot of people like me, a lot of athletes like me, a lot of people are scared to succeed, a lot of people scared to speak out. So as long as I can represent those people, I’m fine.”
As for now, she and her son have been offered scholarships to Tennessee State University, and she plans to get her masters in philanthropy or economics with a vision toward implementing change.
“I want to make sure these companies and these corporations respect their Black co-workers,” she said. “I want to make sure these kids are making good decisions. I want to make sure they don’t have any trauma going into the real world and know how to deal with it.”
The 32-year-old had been the center of controversy ever since she was viewed turning away from the US Flag after winning a bronze medal during the Olympic trials. She held up a shirt that read “Activist Athlete.” Berry said she was “pissed” that “The Star-Spangled Banner” played during the celebration.
“If you know your history, you know the full song of the national anthem,” Berry said on Black News Channel. “The third paragraph speaks to slaves in America — our blood being slain … all over the floor.”
Back in July, Berry pledged to “represent the oppressed people” should she win a medal in Tokyo, adding, “that’s been my message for the last three years.”
Berry laughed when she was asked if there’s any chance she’ll be back for the 2024 Paris Games.
“I’m tired, man. I’m tired of being away from my family,” Berry said. “I’m tired of sacrificing for this sport that don’t pay us.