Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner took issue with a U.S. Olympian who recently turned her back during the national anthem and encouraged other Olympians to show respect to the United States at the Games.
U.S. Olympic athletes should represent their country with "dignity and respect for our country and for our values," Jenner, who won the gold medal in the decathlon representing the United States in 1976, told FOX News in an interview.
Jenner added that Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who turned her back on the medal podium in protest as the National Anthem was playing, was "disrespectful." Jenner lamented that she had received "so much press."
"I was the first person ever to put an American flag at the finish line," Jenner continued. "We need more of that. And I guarantee you. Ninety-eight percent, ninety-nine percent of the athletes that are going over there are patriotic. They want to do it right. They want to represent their country. Right. But unfortunately, the media focuses on the ruins of the world. And it's a shame. It's an absolute shame."
Jenner complimented hammer thrower DeAnna Price, who finished in first place ahead of Berry, and was dismayed that "nobody knows her" despite her "phenomenal performance."
Berry, who said that playing the national anthem while she was on the podium was "disrespectful," announced that she will indeed compete in the Olympics after her third-place qualifying finish.
"My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports," Berry said. "I'm here to represent those ... who died due to systemic racism. That's the important part. That's why I'm going. That's why I'm here today."
Caitlyn Jenner, who dropped the name Bruce after coming out as transgender female in 2015, is currently running in a California recall election as a Republican to replace the state’s current Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom.
On the campaign trail, Jenner has spoken candidly about opposing biological males competing against females in athletic competitions.
"This is a question of fairness, that's why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls sports in school," Jenner told TMZ earlier this year. "It just isn't fair, and we have to protect girls sports in our schools."
Recent polling conducted shows Jenner tied for third place in a crowded Republican field, with 53% of voters still undecided on who should lead California if the majority of voters vote to remove Newsom.