Myanmar Swimmer Will Forgo Olympics In Protest of Country’s Military Coup

Win Htet Oo, one of the top swimmers from the nation of Myanmar, won’t compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after protesting against a coup perpetrated by the country’s military.

Win Htet Oo has called for the country’s National Olympic Committee to be disallowed from participating in the Olympic Movement due to the violence, being quoted as saying “genocidaires do not deserve to be in the Olympics.”

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Win Htet Oo explained that he was rejected by the Myanmar Olympic Committee (MOC) after expressing his desire to join the Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar. He adds that he thinks the MOC shouldn’t be recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “as they have failed to protect the Olympic Movement in Myanmar as they continue to operate in cahoots with a military regime that stands accused of crimes against humanity.”

His rejection of the MOC essentially rules out his chances of competing at the Games. The 26-year-old freestyle specialist is currently training in Melbourne, Australia.


A coup began in Myanmar on February 1 when democratically elected members of the country’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), were overthrown by the Tatmadaw – Myanmar’s military. Myanmar armed forces commander in chief Gen. Min Aung Hlaing seized power, and in addition to overthrowing the NLD, also installed a military junta (a government controlled by military leaders).

Win Htet Oo goes on to say that the National Unity Government is “the only legitimate representative of the people of Myanmar” and that all international organizations and governments should recognize it as Myanmar’s official government.

Win Htet Oo says he hopes to institute an international boycott of the Myanmar Olympic Committee.

“I call upon the IOC to immediately investigate the MOC and search for grounds for immediate expulsion from the Olympic Movement,” he said.

Win Htet Oo has represented Myanmar at both the 2013 and 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and holds the country’s National Records in the men’s 50, 100 and 200 freestyle in long course meters and the 50 and 100 free in short course meters.

Most recently, he competed at the Australian Championships on the Gold Coast in mid-April, placing 37th in the 50 free (23.58) and 36th in the 100 free (51.31). His National Records in those events (LCM) stands at 22.62 and 50.18, respectively.

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JP input is too short
3 months ago

I mean, not to be a wet blanket but… would he actually be making the Olympics?

Troll in the Dungeon
Reply to  JP input is too short
3 months ago

Not on a FINA A cut, but there are FINA B cuts and wildcards, so if he is one of the best swimmers in the country, yes there is a good possibility he would have been making the Olympics.

Reply to  Troll in the Dungeon
3 months ago

I think 22.62 and 50.18 would be B cuts.

Reply to  Xman
3 months ago

22.62 is, 50.13 is very close to the B cut of 50.03.

3 months ago

Not much of a protest

Konner Scott
Reply to  Doconc
3 months ago

He’s trained his entire life to compete on the world’s biggest stage, but feels the need to speak out about this so badly that he’s sacrificing it all to try and have a voice. I’d call that a hell of a protest.

The facts
Reply to  Konner Scott
3 months ago

The “so called coup” overturned the results of a fraudulent election…

3 months ago


J. Peterman
3 months ago

It’ll always be Burma to me

3 months ago

Would he be able to swim under the olympics flag?

Corn Pop
3 months ago

Where are we up to? Everyone hated the Military govt & loved that lady . Then that lady got in . Then everybody hated her & her govt Buddhists weaponised against the Muslims & foreigners got upset .How could those peaceful people do such things !’ . Then everybody hated the Buddhists. Now we are back to gating on the Military govt.

Those ain’t bad times but no one will miss him at the Olympics. That’s life!

Last edited 3 months ago by Corn Pop
3 months ago

power to him!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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