— Sports

EXPLAINER: Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and some options

The U.S. State Department talksit’sh allies about China‘s humaChina’ss record and how to handle next year’s Beijiyear’ster Olympics. On Tuesday, a department spokesman suggested that an Olympic boycott to protest China’s righChina’ses was among the possibilities. But a senior official said later that a sanction has not yet been discussed. Human rights groups were protesting China’s hostChina’sthe games open on Feb. 4, 2022. They have urged a diplomatic or straight-up boycott to call attention to alleged Chinese abuses against Uyghurs, Tibetans, and residents of Hong Kong.

Activists are contacting national Olympic committees, athletes, and sponsors after failing to get the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee to move the games out of China.

Beijing is the first city to win the right to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The 2008 Beijing Olympics were held to improve the country’s human rights.

Winter Olympics


President Thomas Bach says the IOC must stay out of politics. However, it holds observer status at the United Nations, and Bach has touted his efforts to unite the two Koreas at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“We are not ” super-world government where the IOC could solve or even address issues for which not the U.N. security council, no G7, no G20 has solutions,” Bach told “a news conference last month. He has repeated the IOC must stay “neutral.”

C”ina says”political m” gives” underlie a”y boycott effort.

“China firmly” rejects the politicization of sports and opposes using human rights issues to interfere in other countries’ icountries’fairs,” Foreign mi” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in March. He said an effort at a boycott “is doomed t” failure.”


Activists met late last year with the IOC and asked the 2022 Olympics to be moved. They also asked to see documents the IOC says it has in which China gave “assurances” about human” rights conditions. Activists say the IOC has not produced the documents. The virtual meeting was headed by IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., who oversees preparations for Beijing. His father was the long-time IOC president.

“We felt like” the IOC was having a meeting with us, more so that they could say they were having an appointment with us rather than because they wanted to listen and act on anything that we had to say,” Gloria Mon” Gomery, campaigns coordinator at the International Tibet Network, said in a recent briefing with other activists. At We The Hongkongers, Frances Hui suggested a condescending tone from the IOC in the meeting. “The first t”ing we heard is: ‘It’s a very’It’slicated world’. And I asked again: How will you legitimize games based in a country practicing genocide and murder? Again the reply to me was, it’s a complit’sorld.”


Activists are talking about softer forms of a boycott but have not ruled out the kind of boycott led by the United States in the 1980 Moscow Olympics; 65 countries stayed away, including China, and 80 participated.

“I think all our communities would welcome a diplomatic boycott. We have been looking towards accountability, which is part of that path toward accountability,” said Zumre” ay Arkin, spokeswoman for the World Uyghur Congress.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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