Let Beatie Deutch Compete!! Change the 2021 Marathon Date!!!

Let Beatie Deutch Compete!! Change the 2021 Marathon Date!!!

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Tzipporah Serach Russo started this petition to IOC Olympic Commitee; 2021 Olympic Commitee

Sign this potition in support of the Tokyo 2021 Women’s Marathon event be held on a day other than a Saturday. Beatie Deutsch is an Orthodox Jewish woman who, due to her religious observance, will be unable to compete if the marathon is held on a Saturday. From sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, Ms. Deutsch observes the Jewish Sabbath (the “Shabbat”), a day of rest. During
this time, she refrains from running and competing.

The IOC’s broad rejection of any consideration of an athlete’s religious observances and restrictions in scheduling events is unfortunate, and inconsistent with the Olympic spirit. The Olympic Charter lauds the practice of sport as a human right, to be guaranteed “without discrimination of any kind.” The Charter further guarantees that “[t]he enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth [within] shall be secured without discrimination of any kind,”including on the basis of religion. The Charter also establishes that it is the “mission of the IOC” to “act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement.” These principles are similarly espoused in international human rights law. For example, both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms declare that every individual has the right to freedom of religion, and they similarly prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion.

The concept of reasonable accommodations for religious beliefs and observances is a wellestablished principle under U.S. law, which provides a readily applicable framework forbalancing individual rights against countervailing considerations and practicalities. Under U.S. law, religious observances and practices must be reasonably accommodated unless doing so would cause undue hardship to the party from whom an accommodation is sought. The reasonable accommodation framework embodies the same principles of religious freedom and non-discrimination as are espoused by the Olympic Charter and, we submit, is
appropriate for the IOC’s evaluation athletes’ religious observances.

The Women’s Marathon has historically occurred on a Sunday,
and no tickets are sold for the event, holding the event on a day other than Saturday is an eminently reasonable accommodation unlikely to cause undue hardship. And because the concept of reasonable accommodation provides flexibility in weighing competing interests in the context of a specific request, the IOC would evaluate any future athlete requests for religious accommodation on the specific facts of the  individual request, and would not be prevented from staging events on Saturdays, Sundays, or during religious celebrations—even if a request for accommodation is made—should it not be reasonably feasible to schedule
them at another time.

Ms. Deutsch is in a unique position to be a role model to others,
particularly women and athletes of every faith, as her story illustrates that it is never too late to chase one’s dreams, and that athletes can do so while balancing motherhood and staying true to their values. Taking steps to enable an athlete such as Ms. Deutsch to participate in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics would further the IOC’s mission, as set out in the Olympic Charter (Rule 2), “to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels” and “to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement.”

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