Some Prominent Canadians Propose Boycott of 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing

by Jack McCormick 13

January 24th, 2021 Canada, International, News

As concern grows, both in Canada and elsewhere, over China’s persecution of Uighur Muslims, Canadian’s have begun calling for a boycott of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

A former Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Finance, Alan Freeman, has been one of the more outspoken in urging the country’s government to commit to a boycott. Freeman said:

“How can we even contemplate sending the cream of our athletes, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looking on, and watching them gleefully enter Beijing’s Olympic Stadium for glitzy opening ceremonies while Canadians remain behind bars in a Chinese prison?”

The Canadians Freeman refers to are Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, who have been detained in China since 2018.

Despite cries for the country to boycott the games, the Canadian Olympic Committee has remained dedicated to ensuring that the country’s team competes as planned.

“We have concerns about what we are hearing is occurring in the host country and we know the Government of Canada is addressing these issues on a government-to-government basis. The Canadian Olympic Committee believes that sport has a unique power to bring the world together, to create dialogue, and build understanding through important people-to-people connections. Past Olympic boycotts such as Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 punished athletes, further entrenched governments in their positions, and achieved little else. If the end goal is to see a change, we believe a boycott would be counterproductive.”

The country is also limited in its ability to make political statements through the Olympic Games. Per the 2020 edition of the Olympic Charter, National Olympic Committees cannot make any form of a political, religious, or racial demonstration at an Olympic site. While the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has requested that peaceful actions advocating for human rights be allowed at the games, unless the 2022 edition of the Olympic Charter is changed, no form of a political statement will be allowed at the 2022 Olympic Games.

Canada is not alone in discussing the possibility of boycotting the 2022 Games.  In October of 2020, the British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab suggested that the boycotting of the 2022 Olympic Games was a possibility in light of what he referred to as “egregious human rights violations.” He also said it was possible that Prince William, who often represents the government at international sporting events, may be asked to not attend the games.

In the United States, China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims was recently classified as genocide and crimes against humanity by now-former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Canada was among the most successful teams at the last Winter Olympic Games held in 2018. The country finished with 29 medals, making them the 3rd most decorated team at the 2018 Olympic Games. Canada holds the 5th most medals all-time at the Winter Olympic games, with 199 in total.

The last official Olympic Games boycott by a nation came with the 1988 Seoul Games in South Korea. There, a handful of nations boycotted, with Cuba and Ethiopia specifically declaring their boycott over issues with the conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

There were talks of boycotts of the 2008 Summer Olympics, also in Beijing, over China’s treatment of Tibet, among other matters.

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6 months ago

Sad to see politics getting involved in every corner of our life and the press are more responsible then anybody else.

Reply to  Ernie
6 months ago

Lol if you think the overlap of politics and sport is new, you must be young or have slept through most of history.

Also, there was no press during the ancient Olympic Games, which were primarily a political event, with sports as just the window dressing. I’d say politics pervading every corner of life is the fault of the politicians, not the press.

Last edited 6 months ago by turnstyleswimmer
Reply to  Ernie
6 months ago

Blaming press (and whistleblowers) for everything is one of the biggest blows to American democracy Trump left behind. Without them, without checks and balances and accountability, there is no democracy, Olympics stopped being (mostly) about sports long time ago.

Reply to  PsychoDad
6 months ago

If the press were truly about democracy, they would apply the same pressure to Biden as they did to Trump. Unfortunately, Biden will be thrown softballs just like Obama. For the record I am not a Republican nor did I vote for Trump.

Reply to  Ernie
5 months ago

I don’t think opposing internment camps is a “political” stance.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
6 months ago

Hopefully People learn from the history and don’t let the 1984 tragedy happen again.
Boycotting an Olympics won’t affect how a nation acts politically, it can only be devastating to the dreams of thousands of athletes.

Last edited 6 months ago by Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
6 months ago

The Eastern Block boycotted the Olympics and within 4 years their governments started to collapse? You’re right China should just boycott the Tokyo games.

Corn Pop
Reply to  xman
6 months ago

1979 USSR to Kabul . 2001 USA & NATO & the rest to Kabul .

Fun fact some of the ex USSR Republics liked it so much , they went to Kabul again .

All roads lead to Kabul !

Last edited 6 months ago by Corn Pop
6 months ago

How about boycotting them for being cheaters- that’s fair. Just ask the Australian freestylers!

Reply to  Gator
6 months ago

Ian Thorpe had an adverse analytical finding for testosterone and LH. Australia was quick to dismiss this–which I can understand an expedited process for their best swimmer, but it is still quite questionable as to whether or not they did their due diligence and I don’t think WADA looked into this.

Reply to  HuntleyJones
6 months ago

What about the American sprinters in athletics, not to mention the American cyclist.

6 months ago

Has anyone asked… The Athletes themselves??

Steven RC
6 months ago

If the canadian sport people are so concern about the rights of the people why they don t claim to stop the minnin exploitation in Central America, where canadian companies has reduced population to a slavery conditions, and threaten to suit the goverments if their activities are stoped or interfiered