Keep politics out of Olympics

By Zhang Xin (Xinhua) 08:45, December 08, 2021

BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- As China is to welcome with open arms athletes from all over the world to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games where they can showcase their sporting prowess on ice and snow, the White House announced a so-called "diplomatic boycott" of the Games on Monday under the pretext of human rights.

The move is a pure political provocation. Underneath Washington's groundless accusation against China is its sinister intention to serve its self-interests at the expense of the athletes. Such a plot goes against the common aspiration of athletes coming to the Games and sports fans all across the world, and is thus a blot on the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

The Olympics are not a stage for political posturing and manipulation. The real protagonists should be athletes, not those self-serving Washington politicians. The political farce directed by the outsiders of the Games, both shameful and unacceptable, is doomed to failure.

For the record, Beijing is chosen as the host city of the Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) via an open and widely-representative vote in 2015 in line with the Olympic Charter. There is no room for manipulation.

The goal of the Olympic Movement, stated by the IOC, is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. This goal has been understood and recognized by all with sound independent judgment.

This year, the IOC added "Together" to its "Faster, Higher, Stronger" motto. IOC President Thomas Bach said this amendment sent a clear signal that "we want to put special focus on solidarity," and it tapped into the trends of our times.

Clearly, the highly politicized attempt by those U.S. politicians blasphemes the spirit and the goal of the Olympic Movement, and will only dampen the solidarity desperately needed in a world battered by an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the knock-on economic challenges.

Vicious moves seeking to disrupt and politicize the Olympics are nothing new. In his opening speech to the 136th Session of the IOC last year, Bach warned that "in some people's minds the ghosts of the past are rearing their ugly heads." The examples and warnings throughout history deserve deep reflection.

Furthermore, it is sheer wishful thinking of some U.S. politicians that they can force Beijing into some sort of concession via any diplomatic boycott. Conventionally, it is the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that invite their political authorities to accompany their athletes to the Games. Neither the host city nor the city's country issues the invitation. Therefore, if the boycotters get their way, it is just a denial to their own NOC, nothing to do with China.

The clear minds in the international community have already voiced their opposition to the politicization of the Olympics, as well as their support for Beijing and high expectations for the upcoming sports gala.

IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi has spoken highly of the preparations of the Beijing 2022 Games. The Olympics are "always an opportunity to make the world come together," he said in early November.

As Bach has mentioned, "the Olympic Games are a reaffirmation of our shared humanity and contribute to unity in all our diversity." It should never be a hotbed created by certain politicians of sabotaging cooperation, provoking division or stoking hatred.

China has been wholeheatedly busy presenting the world with simple, safe and splendid Winter Olympics, and it will succeed.

It is time for those self-serving U.S. politicians to wake up to the reality, and drop their ridiculous wishful thinking immediately.

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


Related Stories