A Team USA staffer came under fire days before the official start of the Tokyo Games over a social media post comparing Olympic COVID-19 protocols to Nazi Germany.
Rosie Gallegos-Main apologized Wednesday in a letter to the USA Wrestling Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She wrote she was sorry “for my poor judgment and my choice to share this message.”
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Gallegos-Main, a chiropractor for women’s wrestling since 2009, made the posts on Facebook and Instagram. The tech giants flagged both messages for spreading misinformation.
“We went from ‘Flattening the curve in 14 days’ to ‘Going door-to-door to see your papers’ … Gotta admit, I did N-A-Z-I that one coming,” the post read.
Gallegos-Main said she was trying to put “an emphasis on coercion by authorities rather than anything to do with Germany and the Jewish people.” The posts have since-been deleted.
“I now see that these are linked and can’t be separated,” she wrote. “I will never use this word again in any form that does not have a proper foundation for its usage, such as in a history lesson or in educating people about the past.
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“I’m deeply saddened by this and wish to apologize for my poor judgment and my choice to share this message. I am also sorry that this may have been a distraction for the delegation which should be focused on supporting our athletes to the best of our ability.”
Gallegos-Main is not part of the accredited U.S. delegation in Tokyo, but will be allowed to finish her stay at USA Wrestling pre-Olympic camp in Nakatsugawa, Japan. She also must undergo sensitivity training.
“The USOPC does not condone or tolerate any behavior that intentionally offends or attacks others,” the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) told the AP. “The post that this volunteer shared is completely inconsistent with our values and we made this clear to her as soon as we became aware of it.
“As shown through her prompt removal of the share and her apology, she has shown clear remorse and committed to an educational process with DE&I experts. The USOPC will work with USA Wrestling to see that she gets that educational resource and understands our organization’s shared global purpose of building a better, more inclusive world through sport.”
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Gallegos-Main’s LinkedIn page says she’s worked with USA Women’s Wrestling since 2009. It’s her third Olympics with the team.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.