Swimmer Takes Fur Protest to Beijing

American is first athlete to protest at Games, but display is low-key
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2008 1:13 PM CDT
USA swimmer and model Amanda Beard poses with a poster of herself in Beijing, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008.    (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Amanda Beard became the first athlete to protest at the Olympic Games today, revealing a huge nude photo of herself outside the athlete’s village in Beijing. Eschewing Darfur or Tibet, the US swimmer blasted fur clothing in the ad for PETA. “The Olympics are a great forum for me to use to get my message out,” Beard said.

The protest was originally planned to be front of the Water Cube, the Olympic swim venue where Beard will compete, but Chinese officials objected at the last minute, and the press conference was moved. Beard says she was trying make her point without creating a disturbance. "I'm not out here taking my clothes off," she noted. "I'm not trying to be in everybody's face and be harsh or negative." China is the world's top fur exporter, AFP reports.