U.S athletes took to Twitter on Monday to demand an end to the IOC's rule 40 which prevents Olympians from taking part in advertising for anyone expect official Olympic sponsors.
Team USA athletes made the request to be able to decide what sponsors they can promote during the Games. Rule 40 protects the 11 officials sponsors including Visa, McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
Rule 40 stipulates:
" In accordance with rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, no competitor, coach, trainer or official who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes except as permitted by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board."
The movement, started by the track and field athlete Sanya Richarch-Ross, was followed by many including Trey Hardee and Dawn Harper, who tweeted a picture of herself with duct tape across her mouth saying "Rule 40."
Richarch-Ross first tweeted. "I am honored to be an Olympian, but #rule40 #WeDemandChange," a phrase which was repeated by other athletes.
The movement was generally welcomed by the public who expressed its support for the U.S. athletes.
Some asked how they could help the Olympians, while others advise them to start an online petition.
Julian Moore, a non-profit specialist in Australia, noted that Rule 40 was also preventing athletes from publicly supporting charities and non-profit organisations.
Although athletes' demands were generally positively received by fans and spectators, some Twitter users criticized the Olympians' greediness saying that the Olympic Games were about representing their country and not money. It is worth noting that criticisms were scarce.
Others also advocated the need to protect the revenue for sponsors due to the costs of the Games.