In February 2022, CHINA gets to host another Olympic games this time the winter games version. In so doing they become the first country to host the summer and the winter Olympics after doing so in 2008. In terms of resources Beijing is a worthy host of the games. China is an economic juggernaut with the fastest growing economy in the world despite showing signs of slowing down in recent years. But it seems controversy and China are never far away from each other. A number of Western countries have announced diplomatic boycotts of the games inclusive of USA and Canada. What does this mean? They will not send officials there although athletes can compete in their own accord. Today I want to take a look at how the controversies came about. Let’s start with how they got the rights to the games.

It started back in 2014 when the IOC attached a hefty 51 billion dollar bill to host the games. This has scared away potential bids for the 2022 games. Six European cities wanted to host the games including Oslo. Referendums were held in which the costs factored in on the no vote. After all doesn’t make sense to go bankrupt for hosting a one month event. That left two totalitarian regimes in Kazakhstan (Almaty) and China (Beijing) in the hat for the games, who let’s face it have no political opposition domestically. Both have political reasons to put up the bounty, to clean up their images. You bet there was voting controversy. A second vote was required after the initial electronic vote was said to have “technical issues”. Beijing won 44-40 despite Kazakhstan having a solid bid and natural snow and mountains.

Second controversy. The human rights record of China is notoriously bad. Reasons which have been given for the boycotts include atrocities against the Uyghur community. Who are they? They are a Muslim community whose beliefs clash with the atheist communist regime. China has been accused of running Soviet/Nazi style concentration camps in which the Uyghur and other Muslims are interned. Other issues include the disappearance of Peng Shuai and Hong Kong democratic protests. Lastly I got to say boycotting the games will harm athletes than politicians. So I am for participating even though I don’t like the Chinese politics. Example is the 1980 and 1984 summer Olympics boycotts from both sides of the iron curtain.