by Hollie Duncan, CurlingAthletesCAN Board Member

On January 9, 2020 the IOC announced new guidelines to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter that ban athletes from making political, religious and ethnic demonstrations at the Olympic Games.

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

The guidelines come in response to protests from athletes at major sports events last year, including the Pan American Games in Lima and the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju. The guidelines were developed by the IOC Athletes’ Commission in consultation with athletes and the worldwide network of athletes’ commissions.

While Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter already prohibited athletes from protesting at the Games, it did not give much clarity on what counts as “protest”. The new guidelines specify examples, including displaying political messaging in signs or armbands, kneeling, refusing to follow the Ceremonies protocol or making political hand gestures.

Protests and demonstrations are not permitted at “all Olympic venues”, including:

  • on the field of play;
  • in the Olympic Village;
  • during Olympic medal ceremonies; and
  • during the Opening, Closing and other official Ceremonies.

Athletes have the opportunity to express their views during the Olympic Games at the following:

  • during press conferences and interviews;
  • at team meetings; and
  • on digital or traditional media, or other platforms.

If an athlete or participant is in breach of Rule 50 and the Olympic Charter, each incident will be evaluated by their respective National Olympic Committee, International Federation and the IOC, and disciplinary action will be taken on a case-by-case basis as necessary.



Hollie Duncan

Hollie Duncan is a two-time Canadian University (CIS now USPORTS) national curling champion and silver medalist at the 2009 World University Games. Her team won the 2018 provincials and represented Ontario at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. She continues to compete on the World Curling Tour and is the skip of Team Duncan, a team that represents the Royal Canadian Curling Club in Toronto.

Off the ice, Hollie completed her Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University and her law degree at Western University. She is currently a Decision Writer at the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.

Hollie has volunteered with various charity curling bonspiels, clinics and camps. In addition to the AthletesCAN board, she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilfrid Laurier Hall of Fame.

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