Fireworks lit up the sky in Pimsiri Sirikaew’s rural hometown after she won a silver medal in the women’s 58-kilogram weightlifting event at the London Olympics. But it seems that the national celebration could be cut short. Her silver medal could be confiscated as she may have violated Article 5o of the Olympic Charter (in force as from 8 July 2011) which forbids all forms of political demonstration or propaganda. Pimsiri held a photo of King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the medal awarding ceremony. It has been unclear as to who has filed a complaint against Pimsiri’s possible breaching of the Olympic Charter to the International Olympic Committee.
Here is the content of Article 50: Advertising, Demonstrations, Propaganda:
- The IOC Executive Board determines the principles and conditions under which any form of advertising or other publicity may be authorised.
- No form of advertising or other publicity shall be allowed in and above the stadia, venues and other competition areas which are considered as part of the Olympic sites. Commercial installations and advertising signs shall not be allowed in the stadia, venues or other sports grounds.
- No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.
It has been somewhat a tradition for Thai Olympians to display a photo of the King as they won medals. So far, there have been only two nations, at the London Olympics, which preserve this tradition of public glorification of their leaders—Thailand and North Korea.