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Beijing 2022 Needs to be Above Political Disputes

The International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, said the Games must be ‘beyond all political disputes’. He made the remarks in a New Year message.

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The Beijing Winter Games are due to take place from 4th to 20th February 2022, with the Paralympics from 4th to 13th March 2022.

There are questions over China’s human rights record citing repression by the Chinese government against Uyghur Muslims and minorities in Tibet, plus the clampdown on democracy in Hong Kong.

China denies it is guilty of human rights abuses.

There have already been announcements of diplomatic boycotts from many countries including the UK and USA.

The athletes will be taking part, but government officials will stay away.

The International Olympic Committee has always said it remains neutral and will not get involved in politics.

Speaking when the diplomatic boycotts were announced Thomas Bach said that despite the growing number of political boycotts he was pleased the athletes would be taking part in the Winter Olympics.

“The presence of government officials is a political decision for each government so the principle of IOC neutrality applies,” he said at the time.

“If we were to start to take political sides, we would never get the 205 or 206 National Olympic Committees to the Games – this would be the politicisation of the Olympic Games and this would be the end of the Olympic Games,” said Bach.

In his New Year message President Bach also said the Games would be safe and secure as Covid continues.

“We will stage a safe and secure Winter Games for everybody,” he said.

“With these Winter Games Beijing will write history as the first city ever to host both summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games,” he continued.

See here for his message in full:

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Image © PlanetSKI

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