Current Location: sh-obor > Views > Content

Expectations run high with Beijing 2022 set to unite the world

2021-11-24 09:57:01 Xinhua News Agency

Beijing is set to mark a historic achievement in February, when it will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Beijing is set to mark a historic achievement in February, when it will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

However, like almost every other Games before it, there have been some distractions from the spirit of the Olympic Games like calls for a boycott from Western politicians and organizations.

A boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games would undermine one of the key tenets by which the Olympic movement has abided since the birth of the modern Games in 1896.

The Olympic charter states that the Games must not be used as a platform for any kind of political, religious or racial demonstration.

Furthermore, the mission and role of each National Olympic Committee (NOC) includes an obligation "to maintain and promote its political neutrality and to preserve the autonomy of sport," the document says.

"The NOCs must preserve their autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind, including but not limited to political, legal, religious or economic pressures which may prevent them from complying with the Olympic charter," it adds.

The message is clear: sport and politics ought not to be mixed.

As such, calls from some quarters for NOCs to withdraw from the Beijing Winter Games because of spurious allegations related to Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong are misplaced and threaten to set a dangerous precedent.

One shudders to think what could happen at subsequent Games and how they could be used as a tool or platform to push political agendas. Moreover, sport must never cease to be the prime focus of the Olympics.

Susanne Lyons, the president of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), said as much when telling reporters in April that Team USA's athletes should not be used as "political pawns".

"We at the USOPC oppose athlete boycotts because they've been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues," Lyons said. "For our athletes, their only dream is to represent the USA and what we stand for on the international field of play."