Several Athletes Reportedly Planning To Boycott Opening Ceremony In Beijing

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Athletes across several countries are reportedly planning a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Friday in Beijing.

Per Josh Rogin of The Washington Post, athletes have quietly been preparing for the boycott, in an effort to show solidarity with the victims of the ongoing Chinese genocide against Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers. Athletes have remained silent on the subject in public, at the risk of facing punishment from the Chinese government if they talk about human rights.

Rogin writes that activists have told him that at least two Western teams have confirmed they will not be attending the Opening Ceremonies.

“The simple gesture of skipping out on the Opening Ceremonies can be a tremendous opportunity for athletes to show solidarity and compassion towards the Uyghur, Tibetan, Hong Konger and Mongolian communities that have suffered unimaginable human rights violations by the hands of China’s Communist Party,” Dorjee Tseten, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), said, via Rogin. “Athletes, you have a voice, your gesture of solidarity can make a difference.”

In regards to the United States, lawmakers on both sides have raised concerns that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) isn’t doing enough to protect its athletes. All Olympic participants have been made to download a “health monitoring” app before attending the games. Research group Citizen Lab reports that the app is riddled with security vulnerabilities that can put the users’ privacy at risk.

It is uncertain how many — if any U.S. athletes will be participating in the boycott. President Joe Biden announced in December that he would not be sending any diplomatic representation to Beijing.

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games given [China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Dec. 6. “The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home.

“We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games. U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of [China’s] egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that.”

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.

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