Thanks to COVID-19 many sporting events were disrupted including, and maybe especially, the Olympic Games. The 2020 Summer Games were forced to take place this past summer of 2021 and already we are preparing for the 2022 Winter Games. The Olympics are being hosted in Beijing China, February 4th through February 20th.
Even before the deadly pandemic, there was a great amount of controversy over the games being held in any province of China due to the treatment of Uyghur Muslims. Fox News reported back in August that “The Chinese Communist government has allegedly imprisoned 1 million members of the Uyghur Muslim minority in what Beijing defends as de-radicalization and retraining centers. Human rights activists have compared the camps to prisons and worse, claiming that inmates are sentenced there with little due process. Authorities have reportedly compelled Uyghurs to denounce their religion, language and culture to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping.”
This statement had been wide while reporting on a Uyghur American woman’s mother’s disappearance. Ziba Murat made a plea to her fellow countrymen and those in power that American boycott the games in the name of missing men and women like her mother, Dr. Gulshan Abbas, who disappeared in 2018 from the Communist controlled country.
“She sent me a message saying I should sleep when the baby sleeps, referring to my then-infant daughter. I haven’t heard from her since.”
In July of this past summer, former Vice President Mike Pence suggested that if we must allow Beijing to host the games, then we should do so only if China offered complete transparency regarding their involvement with the COVID-19 virus. He is quoted as saying; “President Biden should make a clear and unequivocal demand that the 2022 Winter Olympics be moved from Beijing unless China comes clean on the origins of COVID-19 and immediately ends the persecution of the Uyghur people…The Olympics should only take place in countries that respect fundamental human rights and the well-being of mankind.”
When a lot of discussions about the Olympics were taking place in July, the IOC made clear they also felt it was important to have spectators present. Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs who is an IOC member stated in the report that “We need very successful Games next year in Beijing. We really need that success for the sake of everybody … for keeping that light of hope really bright and open. We need and we want to have spectators….We want to have the opportunity for everybody to enjoy the hospitality and enjoy the great Chinese offers.”
Taken directly from the IOC’s website, it was announced that only spectators from mainland China may purchase tickets to attend and see the winter games this coming February.
“Tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland, who meet the requirements of the COVID-19 countermeasures.
“Specific requirements on COVID-19 countermeasures for spectators from China’s mainland and the details of ticketing arrangements are under discussion and development, and will be released to the public in due course once they are finalised.”
Reactions have not been favorable.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics tickets restricted to people living in China, no overseas spectators allowed. Please athletes, if you do not boycott these games, you endorse crimes against humanity and human rights violations. #BoycottBeijing2022https://t.co/4eDkReaxoB
— alpнacenтaυrї (@alphacentauriii) September 30, 2021
Anyone who knows anything about China or has paid attention to China’s handling of the home-grown Pandemic will not find this as a surprise. Though admittedly, I hadn’t been paying attention to the Olympics! 😉 There has never been a clearer time to boycott and sit this one out. https://t.co/0InDp8TtDy
— Author Adam Bray (@authoradambray) September 30, 2021
Canada should boycott the Beijing Olympics.
— Stephen Taylor (@stephen_taylor) September 25, 2021
In 128 days, the 2022 Winter Olympics will begin amidst the genocide of Uyghurs, threats against Taiwan and Japan, and a country's poor attempts at posturing. The world must show a willingness to diplomatically boycott the games.#EndUyghurGenocide
— Abdulhakim Idris (@AHakimIdris) September 29, 2021
Back in April the White House made it clear that they were not even looking at boycotting the games, but China still issued a warning that China would not stand for a boycott and even implied the IOC wouldn’t either. “The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” said the spokesperson, Zhao Lijian. “The international community including the U.S. Olympic Committee will not accept it.”
So far, this stance from Jen Psaki on behalf of the Biden administration has not changed.
Although Joe Biden has strongly supported a boycott of Americans living in Georgia, Press Secretary Jen Psaki says Biden is still not even considering a boycott of the Beijing Olympics when confronted on the genocide in China.https://t.co/92fCGNSr6i pic.twitter.com/PgSjCR1HCN
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 7, 2021