2022 Winter Olympics

  (Redirected from 2022 Winter Olympics medal table)

The 2022 Winter Olympics (Chinese: 2022年冬季奥林匹克运动会; pinyin: Èr Líng Èr'èr Nián Dōngjì Àolínpǐkè Yùndònghuì), officially the XXIV Olympic Winter Games (Chinese: 第二十四届冬季奥林匹克运动会; pinyin: Dì Èrshísì Jiè Dōngjì Àolínpǐkè Yùndònghuì) and commonly known as Beijing 2022 (Chinese: 北京2022; pinyin: Běijīng Èr Líng Èr'èr), is an upcoming international winter multi-sport event scheduled to take place from 4 to 20 February 2022 in Beijing and venues near neighboring towns of Yanqing and Chongli in the People's Republic of China.[2]

XXIV Olympic Winter Games
Beijing 2022 Olympic official emblem
Emblem of the 2022 Winter Olympics[a]
Host cityBeijing, China
Motto
  • Together for a Shared Future
  • (Chinese: 一起向未来)[1]
NationsTBA
AthletesTBA
Events109 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)
Opening4 February
Closing20 February
Opened by
Cauldron
TBA
StadiumBeijing National Stadium
Winter
Summer
2022 Winter Paralympics

Beijing was elected as host city in July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur. The 2022 Winter Olympics will be the first Winter Olympics in China, the second overall Olympics in China (after the 2008 Summer Olympics also in Beijing), and the last of three consecutive Olympics in East Asia (after the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan). Beijing will be the first city to have ever hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics: four existing indoor venues originally constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics will be used as part of these Games, while the Beijing National Stadium will again host the opening and closing ceremonies.

Concerns and controversies at the 2022 Winter Olympics have included diplomatic boycotts due to the Uyghur genocide and the general human rights situation in China.

Bidding processEdit

The bidding calendar was announced by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) in October 2012, with the application deadline set for 14 November 2013. The IOC Executive Board reviewed the bids from all applicant cities on 7 July 2014 and selected three cities, Oslo (Norway), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Beijing (China), as the final candidates.[3]

Several Olympic committees withdrew their applications during the bidding process, citing the high costs or the lack of local support and funding for hosting the Games.[4] The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports which had proposed hosting the games in Oslo, which had been considered the clear frontrunner, withdrew after its application to the Norwegian parliament for funding of the proposed Olympics was rejected. Public reception to the Olympic movement's application for funding had been highly negative due to cost concerns after the cost overruns of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and especially revelations about a series of hospitality-related demands that the IOC had reportedly made. The demands notably included "diva-like demands for luxury treatment" for the IOC members themselves, such as special lanes on all roads only to be used by IOC members and cocktail reception at the Royal Palace with drinks paid for by the royal family. IOC also "demanded control over all advertising space throughout Oslo" to be used exclusively by IOC's sponsors, something that is not possible in Norway because Norway is a liberal democracy where the government doesn't own or control "all advertising space throughout Oslo" much of which is privately owned and has no authority to give a foreign private organization exclusive use of an entire city and private property within it.[5] Several commentators pointed out that such demands were unheard of in a western democracy; Slate described the IOC as a "notoriously ridiculous organization run by grifters and hereditary aristocrats."[6][7][8][9]

Beijing was selected as the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics after beating Almaty by four votes on 31 July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

2022 Winter Olympics bidding results
City Nation Votes
Beijing   China 44
Almaty   Kazakhstan 40

Development and preparationEdit

VenuesEdit

 
Location of the three Beijing 2022 clusters
 
Beijing National Stadium
 
National Aquatics Center
 
National Speed Skating Oval
 
Shougang Big Air Venue

In February 2021, Beijing announced that the 26 venues (including training venues) for these sports would be running on entirely renewable energy.[10]

Beijing zoneEdit

Five ice events will be held at the Olympic Green, the Capital Indoor Stadium and the Beijing Wukesong Sports Center, which were some of the main venues of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Big Air snowboarding and freestyle skiing events will be held in a former industrial area in Shijingshan District, at Western Hills area.[11] Since the end of 2009, the Beijing Olympic Village apartments on the Olympic Green have been transformed into a residential area. Therefore, there is a need to build another Olympic Village on a smaller scale for the Winter Olympics. These new buildings were located in the southern area of Olympic Green on the neighbour area of the National Olympic Sports Center.[12]

Yanqing zoneEdit

Yanqing District is a suburban district localized at the Beijing's far north. Competitions for luge, skeleton, and bobsleigh and alpine skiing will be held in Xiaohaituo Mountain area in the West Dazhuangke village[15] of Zhangshanying in Yanqing District, northwest of urban area of Beijing, 90 kilometres (56 miles) away from the city center of Beijing and 17.5 kilometres (10.9 miles) away from the town of Yanqing, using artificial snow because of the rarity of natural snow in this region.[16][17]

Zhangjiakou zoneEdit

All other skiing events will be held in Taizicheng Area in Chongli District, Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province. It is 220 km (140 mi) from downtown Beijing and 130 km (81 mi) away from Xiaohaituo Mountain Area.[citation needed] The ski resort earned over 1.54 billion yuan (US$237.77 million) in tourism during the 2015–16 snow season for a 31.6% growth over the previous season. In 2016, it was announced that Chongli received 2.185 million tourists, an increase of 30% from the previous season, during the first snow season after winning the Olympic bid. The snow season lasted for five months from November, during which Chongli has hosted thirty-six competitions and activities, such as Far East Cup and Children Skiing International Festival. A total of twenty-three skiing camps have also been set up, attracting the participation of 3,800 youths. All venue construction started in November 2016 and will be finished by the end of 2020 to enable the city to hold test events.[18]

MedalsEdit

The design for the Games' medals was unveiled on 26 October 2021. The concept is based on traditional Chinese astronomy and astrology as the games will be held coinciding with the Chinese New Year festivities.[19]

The uniforms for medal presenters at medal ceremonies were unveiled in January 2022.[20] The uniforms have been designed by the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology.[20]

Torch relayEdit

The torch relay started on 18 October 2021 in Greece. On 20 October 2021, it was announced that the physical torch will consist only a local starting on 2 February and ending on 4 February 2022 during the Opening Ceremonies. The third leg will only visit two cities: Beijing and Zhangjiakou.[21]

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemicEdit

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics to 2021, marking the first time since 1992 in which the Winter and Summer Olympics would be held less than six months apart from each other, and in changes in qualifying for curling and women's ice hockey due to the cancellation of tournaments in 2020. The World Curling Federation proposed that qualification for curling be based on placement in the 2021 World Curling Championships, and an Olympic Qualification Event to complete the field (in place of points earned across the 2020 and 2021 World Curling Championships). The IIHF based its qualification for the women's tournament upon existing IIHF World Rankings, without holding the 2020 Women's World Championship.[22][23]

On 29 September 2021, the IOC announced biosecurity protocols for the Games; all athletes will be required to remain within the bio-secure bubble for the duration of their participation, which includes daily COVID-19 testing, and only being allowed to travel to and from Games-related venues. Unless they are fully-vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption, all athletes will be required to quarantine for 21 days upon arrival. Mirroring a protocol adopted for the 2020 Summer Olympics before they were moved behind closed doors, the IOC also announced that only residents of the People's Republic of China would be permitted to attend the Games as spectators.[24][25]

On 17 January 2022, amid increasing lockdowns across China and the first detected case of Omicron variant in Beijing, it was announced that ticket sales to the general public will be cancelled, and that limited spectators will be admitted by invitation only.[26]

TransportationEdit

 
CR400BF-C-5162 has been converted to a dedicated train for the Winter Olympics

The new Beijing–Zhangjiakou intercity railway opened in late 2019, starting from Beijing North railway station and ending at Zhangjiakou railway station. It is built for speeds of up to 350 km/h (220 mph); travel time from Beijing to Zhangjiakou has decreased to around 50 minutes.[citation needed] A dedicated train for the Winter Olympics began to run on this line in January 2022, featuring a television studio which supports live broadcast on the train.[27]

The Beijing Subway is expected to continue expanding and is 783 km (487 mi) in length by December 31, 2021.[28]

A new airport for Beijing and the surrounding region, Beijing Daxing International Airport, opened in 2019. The airport replaced the Beijing Nanyuan Airport and is operated together with the Beijing Capital International Airport.[29] However, according to the COVID-19 epidemic prevention manual issued by BOCWOG, only Beijing Capital International Airport is used for the entry and exit of foreign participants.[30]

BudgetEdit

The estimated budget for the games is US$3.9 billion, less than one-tenth of the $43 billion spent on the 2008 Summer Olympics.[31]

The GamesEdit

Opening CeremonyEdit

As happened at the 2008 Summer Olympics, the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held at the Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird's Nest) on the evening/night of 4 February 2022.[32]

SportsEdit

The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to include a record 109 events over 15 disciplines in seven sports.[33] This represented an increase of seven events from 2018. The men's and women's big air freestyle, women's monobob, mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, and snowboard cross, and the mixed relay in short track speed skating were the new events added by the International Olympic Committee in July 2018.[34]

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each discipline.

  1. Biathlon
  2. Bobsledding
  3. Curling
  4. Ice hockey
  5. Luge
  6. Skating
  7. Skiing

New eventsEdit

In October 2016, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced plans to begin sanctioning women's competitions in Nordic combined, with the objective of contesting the discipline at the Olympic level for the first time in Beijing.[35] In November 2017, a further three events were put forward by the FIS for possible Olympic inclusion: a ski jumping mixed team competition and men's and women's big air in freestyle skiing.[36] At their May 2018 Congress at the Costa Navarino resort in Messenia, Greece, the FIS submitted several additional events for consideration, including a proposal to make telemark skiing an Olympic discipline for the first time in Beijing, with proposed competitions to include the men's and women's parallel sprint and a mixed team parallel sprint. The Congress also approved to submit the aerials mixed team event, and several new snowboarding events: the men and women's snowboard cross team event; a mixed team alpine parallel event; the men's and women's parallel special slalom; and a mixed team parallel special slalom event.[37] The individual parallel special slalom events were featured at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but were dropped from the Olympic program in 2018 to make way for the snowboarding big air competitions.

The International Luge Federation (FIL) proposed the addition of six new events, including natural track luge (men's and women's singles), a women's doubles competition on the artificial track, and sprint events (men, women, and doubles) on the artificial track.[38][39]

The International Skating Union (ISU) continued to campaign for the addition of synchronized skating as a new event within the discipline of figure skating.[40] The ISU also proposed a new mixed team event in short track speed skating.[38]

In biathlon, a single mixed relay was proposed by the International Biathlon Union (IBU) to complement the four-person mixed relay that featured at the 2018 Winter Olympics.[38] Also, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) proposed a new team event, but there was no plan to introduce a four-woman bobsleigh event despite the recommendation from the federation's executive board to propose such an event in the interests of gender equality.[38]

In July 2018, the IOC announced changes to the program for the 2022 Winter Olympics as part of a goal to increase the participation of women, and appeal to younger audiences. Seven new medal events were added (expanding the total program to 109 events), including men's and women's big air freestyle, women's monobob, mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, and snowboard cross, and the mixed relay in short track speed skating.[41]

Closing CeremonyEdit

The Closing Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics will also be held at Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird's Nest) on 20 February 2022.[32] As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings combined the formal ceremonial closing of the Games, including closing speeches and the Antwerp Ceremony, when are hoisted of the flags of Greece (spiritual home of the games), China (current host nation) and Italy (next host nation), the parade of athletes and the handover of the Olympic flag. A segment will showcase the culture and history of the next host cities, as the 2026 Winter Olympics are scheduled to Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Participating National Olympic CommitteesEdit

On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from all international sport for a period of four years, after the Russian government was found to have tampered with lab data that it provided to WADA in January 2019 as a condition of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency being reinstated. As a result of the ban, WADA plans to allow individually cleared Russian athletes to take part in the 2020 Summer Olympics under a neutral banner, as instigated at the 2018 Winter Olympics, but they will not be permitted to compete in team sports. The title of the neutral banner has yet to be determined; WADA Compliance Review Committee head Jonathan Taylor stated that the IOC would not be able to use "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) again, as it did in 2018, emphasizing that neutral athletes cannot be portrayed as representing a specific country.[42][43][44] Russia later filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the WADA decision.[45]

After reviewing the case on appeal, CAS ruled on 17 December 2020 to reduce the penalty WADA had placed on Russia. Instead of banning Russia from sporting events, the ruling allowed Russia to participate at the Olympics and other international events, but for a period of two years, the team cannot use the Russian name, flag, or anthem and must present themselves as "Neutral Athlete" or "Neutral Team." The ruling does allow for team uniforms to display "Russia" on the uniform as well as the use of the Russian flag colors within the uniform's design, although the name should be up to equal predominance as the "Neutral Athlete/Team" designation.[46]

On 19 February 2021, it was announced that Russia would compete under the acronym "ROC" after the name of the Russian Olympic Committee although the name of the committee itself in full could not be used to refer to the delegation. Russia would be represented by the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee.[47]

On 8 September 2021, the IOC Executive Board suspended the Olympic Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) through at least the end of 2022 for violations of the Olympic Charter, over its refusal to send athletes to the 2020 Summer Olympics due to COVID-19-related concerns. North Korean athletes will be allowed to participate under the Olympic flag.[48][49][50][51] However, North Korean Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee said in a letter to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, the Chinese Olympic Committee, and the General Administration of Sport of China on 7 January 2022 that "Due to the "action of hostile forces" and the COVID-19 pandemic, they will not be able to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics."[52] In addition, the North Korean Olympic Committee said "supports all the work of our comrades in China to host a grand and wonderful Olympics. The United States and its followers are plotting anti-Chinese conspiracies to obstruct the successful hosting of the Olympics, but this is an insult to the spirit of the Olympic Charter and an act to damage China's international image. We firmly oppose and reject these actions."[53]

As of 16 January 2022 the following 90 National Olympic Committees have qualified, with Haiti and Saudi Arabia scheduled to make their Winter Olympic debuts.[54][55] Kenya qualified one athlete, but withdrew.[56]

Participating National Olympic Committees
NOCs that participated in 2018, but will not in 2022. NOCs that will participate in 2022, but did not in 2018.

Number of athletes by National Olympic CommitteeEdit

As of 23 January 2022:

Medal tableEdit

CalendarEdit

All dates are Beijing Time (UTC+8)

Competition is scheduled to start two days before the opening ceremony on 2 February, and conclude on 20 February 2022.[116]


OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Event finals EG Exhibition gala CC Closing ceremony
February 2022 2nd
Wed
3rd
Thu
4th
Fri
5th
Sat
6th
Sun
7th
Mon
8th
Tue
9th
Wed
10th
Thu
11th
Fri
12th
Sat
13th
Sun
14th
Mon
15th
Tue
16th
Wed
17th
Thu
18th
Fri
19th
Sat
20th
Sun
Events
  Ceremonies OC CC N/A
  Alpine skiing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11
  Biathlon 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 11
  Bobsleigh 1 1 1 1 4
  Cross-country skiing 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 12
  Curling 1 1 1 3
  Figure skating 1 1 1 1 1 EG 5
  Freestyle skiing 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 13
  Ice hockey 1 1 2
  Luge 1 1 1 1 4
  Nordic combined 1 1 1 3
  Short track speed skating 1 2 1 1 2 2 9
  Skeleton 1 1 2
  Ski jumping 1 1 1 1 1 5
  Snowboarding 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 11
  Speed skating 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 14
Daily medal events 0 0 0 6 7 8 10 6 8 7 6 7 5 9 7 6 4 9 4 109
Cumulative total 0 0 0 6 13 21 31 37 45 52 58 65 70 79 86 92 96 105 109
February 2022 2nd
Wed
3rd
Thu
4th
Fri
5th
Sat
6th
Sun
7th
Mon
8th
Tue
9th
Wed
10th
Thu
11th
Fri
12th
Sat
13th
Sun
14th
Mon
15th
Tue
16th
Wed
17th
Thu
18th
Fri
19th
Sat
20th
Sun
Total events


MarketingEdit

EmblemEdit

The official emblem "Winter Dream" (冬梦) was unveiled on 15 December 2017 at the Beijing National Aquatics Center. The emblem is a stylized rendition of the character "冬" (Winter) inspired by winter snow, with a ribbon motif. The top is meant to resemble a skier and the bottom is meant to resemble a skater. The emblem also features the Olympic colors (except black) and the Chinese flag colors. The emblem was designed by Lin Cunzhen who also created the Nanjing 2014 logo.

MascotEdit

Bing Dwen Dwen is the mascot of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Bing Dwen Dwen was chosen from thousands of Chinese designs in 35 countries worldwide. "Bing" 冰 means ice in Chinese, and is meant to suggest purity and strength. "Dwen Dwen" 墩墩 is meant to suggest robust, lively, and also children. Bing Dwen Dwen's astronaut-like clothes imply that the Winter Olympics embraces new technologies and create possibilities.[117]

SloganEdit

The Games' promotional slogan is Joyful Rendezvous Upon Pure Ice and Snow (Chinese: 纯洁的冰雪,激情的约会), which was used for the candidature process for Beijing to bid for the 2022 Games. On September 17, 2021, the Beijing 2022 announce the slogan of Olympic Winter Games "Together for a Shared Future!" (Chinese: 一起向未来!Yīqǐ xiàng wèilái!).[118] A song with the same name, "Together for a Shared Future" was sung in two versions: one by Jackson Yee, the other by William Chan and Tia Ray; to promote the slogan of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.[119]

BroadcastingEdit

In some countries, broadcast rights to the 2022 Winter Olympics are already agreed upon through existing long-term deals. In France and the United Kingdom, these are the first Games where Eurosport will be the main rightsholder; the BBC will sub-license a limited amount of coverage on free-to-air television, as part of a deal in which the BBC sold the pay-TV rights to the 2018 and 2020 Games to Eurosport.[120][121] In January 2022, the BBC announced it will be broadcasting over 300 hours of free-to-air live coverage, as well as highlights programmes.[122][123]

In China, domestic rights to these Games are owned by China Central Television (CCTV), with rights being sublicensed by China Mobile's Migu streaming service.[124]

In the United States, these Games will once again be broadcast by NBCUniversal properties, as part of its US$7.75 billion contract[125] to air the Olympics through 2032.[126] The 2022 edition of the Super Bowl—championship game of the National Football League (NFL) and historically the most-watched television broadcast in the United States annually—is tentatively scheduled during an ongoing Olympics for the first time in its history. On 13 March 2019, it was announced that NBC had traded 2021's Super Bowl LV to CBS (which, alongside Fox and NBC, alternate airing the Super Bowl on a three-year rotation) in favour of 2022's Super Bowl LVI. Holding rights to both events will prevent them from competing for viewership and advertising sales, and also allow NBC to create synergies and advertising packages for them (as it did during Super Bowl LII, which was played prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics and also televised by NBC).[127][128] While there is an established practice of airing premieres or special episodes of entertainment programs after the Super Bowl to take advantage of its large audience, NBC announced that it would instead air its primetime coverage block for Day 10 of the Games immediately following its coverage of Super Bowl LVI.[129]

Concerns and controversiesEdit

During the bidding process, critics questioned the Beijing bid, citing that the proposed outdoor venue sites do not have reliable snowfall in winter for snow sports. Concerns have been raised that snow may need to be transported to the venues at great cost and with uncertain environmental consequences.[130][131]

The environmental impact of hosting the games near Beijing has also been questioned. Some of the proposed venues will be adjacent to the Beijing Songshan National Nature Reserve and part of the same mountain system; the environmental impacts of construction on the nature reserve, as well as artificially covering parts of the mountain with snow, are uncertain.[132][133] The Government of China has responded to these concerns by expanding the nature reserve by 31% of its original size.[134] The 2021 global energy crisis has intensified pressures on China ahead of the Winter Olympics.[135][136] Al-Jazeera reported that "China’s energy crisis is partially of its own making as President Xi Jinping tries to ensure blue skies at the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February and show the international community he’s serious about de-carbonizing the economy."[137]

Shortly after the announcement of the 2022 host city, some musical critics alleged that the official song used during the bid was "suspiciously" similar to "Let It Go" from the Disney animated musical film Frozen.[138][139]

Boycott of the gamesEdit

As with the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics (the first time that China hosted the Olympics), there have been calls to boycott the Olympic Games when they are hosted by the People's Republic of China. In the aftermath of the 2019 leak of the Xinjiang papers, the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, China's wolf warrior diplomacy, and the Uyghur genocide, calls were made for a boycott of the 2022 Games.[140][141][142][143][144] In a 30 July 2020 letter, the World Uyghur Congress urged the IOC to reconsider holding the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of the Uyghur genocide.[145][146] In September 2020, United States Senator Rick Scott spoke with then-IOC Vice President Anita DeFrantz about reconsidering the IOC's decision to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, under CCP general secretary Xi Jinping's administration. Scott expressed disappointment that the IOC refused to commit to move the games out of China.[147] In October 2020, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested the United Kingdom may boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics.[148]

China's use of trade sanctions and economic coercion[149][150] against Australia has led to increased calls within Australia to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics.[151] In November 2020, Australian Senators Jacqui Lambie and Rex Patrick officially proposed a boycott. Their proposal was later voted down.[151] Some human rights organizations have called for a diplomatic boycott that would mean countries not sending their heads of state or high-ranking officials to the Olympics but still sending athletes.[152] Thirteen Canadian Members of Parliament signed a letter calling for the games to be moved outside of China. Three party leaders have supported relocation of the games, and one leader even stated that she supported the games being moved to Canada.[153][154] In February 2021 six Republican U.S. Senators called for the Games to be moved.[155] Dutch MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma also said the Olympics should be stripped from China, citing the Uyghur genocide.[156] In March 2021, American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin said that she should not have to choose between her morals and her job due to the human rights issues raised over the games.[157] In April 2021, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that U.S. government officials boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics "if the Chinese government's crackdown on religious freedom continues."[158] After the report, Senators Mitt Romney (who served as CEO of the Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics) and Tim Kaine added an amendment to a larger China bill calling for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics, where U.S. officials would not attend but U.S. athletes could still compete.[159] In May 2021, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also called for a diplomatic boycott.[160] Former U.S. President Donald Trump said a full boycott would be "unfair to athletes."[161]

In February 2021, the Chinese state-run outlet Global Times warned that China could "seriously sanction any country that follows a boycott."[162][163] In March 2021, Chinese spokesperson Guo Weimin stated that any attempt to boycott the Olympics would be doomed to fail.[164] Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also told the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that they should attend the games to "enhance exchanges on winter sport," and to "foster new highlights" in bilateral cooperation.[156]

The IOC has stated that it remains neutral in all global political issues and that the award of hosting the games does not mean that the IOC agrees with the political structure, social circumstances, or human rights standards in the country they are held in. "We've repeatedly said it: the IOC isn't responsible for the government. It only gives the rights and opportunity for the staging of the Olympic Games. That doesn't mean we agree with all the politics, all the social or human rights issues in the country. And it doesn't mean we approve of all the human rights violations of a person or people," the committee's response to AFP read. This position has generated criticism, with Jules Boykoff accusing the IOC of hypocrisy by saying that it ignores its charter that promotes equality and anti-discrimination when it is convenient to do so and that the IOC has shown an "unfortunate propensity for turning away from human rights atrocities to make sure that the games go on."[156]

In a survey taken in August 2021, 49 percent of Americans believed that China's human rights record should prevent it from hosting the Winter Olympics in 2022, while 33 percent were not sure.[165]

On 8 September 2021, after the IOC suspended the North Korean NOC for not being present at the 2020 Summer Olympics, there was speculation about whether the IOC was also intending to send a message to nations considering a boycott of the games that they could be banned from participation in future Olympic Games if they chose to boycott this edition.[166][167] On 14 October 2021, the executive vice-president of the IOC, Australian John Coates, said that the IOC would not challenge the Chinese government over the issue of the Uyghurs, stating that it was "not within the IOC's remit".[168] On 19 November 2021, 17 members of the Lithuanian national parliament Seimas released an official letter encouraging Lithuania to withdraw from the 2022 Olympics due to human rights violations in China.[169] Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, president of the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania, released a statement saying that the Olympic Games should be politically neutral and confirmed that the committee has no plans to boycott the Games.[170][171]

On 29 November 2021, Chinese media reported that China reportedly does not plan to invite Western politicians who threaten a diplomatic boycott to the Beijing Winter Olympics.[172]

On 3 December 2021, Lithuania became the first nation to announce a diplomatic boycott of the games.[173]

On 6 December 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that the Biden administration would initiate a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics and the 2022 Winter Paralympics. The diplomatic boycott would bar all US government officials from attending the games in an official capacity. The White House cited China's mistreatment of the Uyghur people as the reason for the boycott. The diplomatic boycott will not affect the participation of American athletes. The White House said it stopped short of a full boycott because "it would not be fair to punish athletes who have trained for years".[174] The IOC responded to the US decision by saying, "The presence of government officials and diplomats is a purely political decision for each government, which the IOC in its political neutrality fully respects. At the same time, this announcement also makes clear that the Olympic Games and the participation of the athletes are beyond politics, and we welcome this."[175] New Zealand later announced it would not be sending any diplomats to China for the Games, citing a "range of factors" for the decision, particularly the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[176][177]

On 8 December 2021, four more nations officially announced boycotts. Australia announced a diplomatic boycott of the games, as well as its refusal to sign the United Nations' Olympic Truce to also send a message to Beijing.[178] That same day, the United Kingdom announced a diplomatic boycott of the games.[179] In the case of Great Britain, it is not clear if Anne, Princess Royal, will also be barred from attending the Games, as she is, in addition to being the daughter of Elizabeth II, a long-time member of the IOC and President of the British Olympic Association.[180] Shortly after, Canada also announced a diplomatic boycott of the Games.[181] Kosovo later followed with their announcement of a boycott.

On 11 December 2021, Japan announced it will not send any Cabinet minister to the 2022 Winter Olympics, aligning itself with other countries who declared diplomatic boycotts. However, it will be sending the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Yasuhiro Yamashita.[182]

On 13 December 2021, President of Estonia Alar Karis announced he will not be attending the 2022 Winter Olympics, citing political factors.[183] On 14 December 2021, Belgium announced a diplomatic boycott of the Games.[184][185]

On 27 December 2021, the Chinese foreign ministry reported that it has received visa applications for 18 US officials to attend the games, despite the United States' earlier announcement of a diplomatic boycott.[186] The US confirmed the applications on the following day, but claimed that the personnel were there to provide "consular and diplomatic security services" to its athletes.[187]

Diplomatic boycottsEdit

A diplomatic boycott indicates that no dignitaries will officially represent the respective nation's government at the Olympic Games. Athletes from the nations can still participate unless that nation has implemented a full boycott.

The following countries have confirmed a diplomatic boycott of the games:

In addition, Austria, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands and India stated they would not send government officials due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which they claimed was "not a diplomatic boycott".[197][198][199]

National Hockey League (NHL) WithdrawalEdit

In September 2021, the National Hockey League (NHL) reached an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation to allow NHL professional hockey players to participate in the 2022 Winter Games.[200] However, on 23 December 2021, the NHL announced it will not be sending players to the games, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and the Omicron variant.[201][202][203][204]

Environmental impactEdit

The Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee claims these will be the "greenest games' ever, a claim which has been criticized by some experts outside China. An estimated 49 million gallons of water is expected to be used to create snow for the various competitions, "These could be the most unsustainable Winter Olympics ever held,” said Professor Carmen de Jong, a geographer at the University of Strasbourg. “These mountains have virtually no natural snow.” In response, the IOC pointed out that "A series of water-conserving and recycling designs have been put into place to optimise water usage for snowmaking, human consumption, and other purposes. Yanqing is rich in water resources in comparison with neighbouring areas."[205]

Cybersecurity concerns over My2022 appEdit

Cybersecurity group Citizen Lab, a Canadian research institute, warned that the obligatory COVID-19 monitoring app, My2022, has security weaknesses that leave users exposed to data breaches.[206] Some Olympic committees have recommended that attendees use prepaid mobile phones and create email accounts for their time in China, while leaving personal smartphones and laptops at home.[207][208][209]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Inspired by Guo Chunning's 2008 Dancing Beijing, the emblem, designed by Lin Cunzhen, inspires the Chinese character of winter (冬) and resembles a skater at the top and a skier at a bottom. The flowing ribbon-like motif between them symbolises Beijing's rolling mountains, Olympic venues, ski pistes and skating rinks (although the city's actual climate in the every new year was almost summer and most of snows for this games was made by human). It also coincides that the games will be held after Chinese New Year.
  2. ^ Xi Jinping is current China's de jure head of state, serving as Chinese President. Xi is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party, the most powerful position in China, serving as the de facto leader of China.
  3. ^ Neutral athletes from Russia, competing under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee
  4. ^ NOC Suspended

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

Winter Olympics
Preceded by XXIV Olympic Winter Games
Beijing

2022
Succeeded by