The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games Spark a Boycott

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China starting February 3rd

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China starting February 3rd

Nadiya Romo

The 2022 Winter Olympic opening ceremony is set to begin February 4, 2022. The ceremony will air live on NBC and Peacock at 6:30 am ET. With less than two weeks from the opening ceremony, controversy continues to make world wide news as more and more countries join in on the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics. 


Why is This Happening? 

China has been accused of abusing human rights and genocide towards Uyghurs and several other Muslim minority groups. Even though they strongly deny these allegations, many countries are making the decision to diplomatically boycott the 2022 Olympic games. A diplomatic boycott is a way for a country to let a host country know they do not agree with something they are doing. In December of 2021, 19 Uyghurs filed a complaint against the Chinese government that stated their wrongful actions of rape, torture, genocide, and abusing human rights. Another reason for this boycott is the continued outbreak of Covid-19. Numbers are still climbing and ICU availability has hit capacity. However, countries are not preventing their athletes from participating but they will not be sending government official delegations to the games. 


What Countries are Participating in the Boycott and Why?

The Biden administration just announced that they will not send an official delegation to the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The United States athletes are still able to compete in the Olympic Games but are hoping to send a strong message to China. Many countries including the United States are bringing awareness to the human right abuses and forced labor occurring in Xinjiang, China. Athletes from the U.S team that will be competing in the games will not be penalized, they have been training for years and did not know what the circumstances would be when the games approached. Below is a complete list of countries that are taking part in the boycott along with their reasons for it:



The prime minister Scott Morrison made a statement that said no government officials will travel to China for the Olympic games. 



Karl Nehmammer, Austria’s chancellor, said they will not send any government officials to China because of COVID-19. 



The prime minister, Alexander De Croo declared they will not send any type of representative to the games. 



Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada said they are diplomatically boycotting the games, and the decision should not be a surprise to China. 



In Denmark, they are strongly involved in the boycott regarding human rights in China. As a result, Jeppe Kofod, Denmark’s foreign minister, said they will be joining the diplomatic boycott. 



Additionally, Estonia also will not send a delegation to Beijing. 



Japan will still send Olympic officials but not send government reps. 



The foriegn minister will not be at the games due to diplomatic ties. 



The Netherlands said they will not send a delegation because of Covid restrictions. 


New Zealand 

The prime minister Grant Roberston, made a statement saying they are not going to send any government representatives mainly due to COVID but some other factors are involved. 



President Borut Pahor said he would not attend the opening ceremony on February 4, 2022 because of Covid. 



The sports minister, Anders Ygeman, made a statement that said no government officials will be attending the games. 


United Kingdom

On December 8, 2021, Boris Johnson announced that no government ministers would attend the games.


China’s Response to the Allegations  

China has threatened the United States because of their decision to boycott the games. Hong Kong says the U.S decision could harm bilateral relations and possible retalitions. Tensions have now risen between China and the U.S.. China has not been silent in their reactions to all the controversy. The editor-in-chief of Global Times, Hu Xijin tweeted, “Why the fuss? If US officials don’t come, let it be. China didn’t invite them anyway.”  This is one of the many tweets Beijing citizens and officials have made. While one country might not affect the games, as more countries join in on the boycott, problems will continue to rise for everyone. 

The games are inching closer, and every moment counts. Even though the Olympics represent the friendly competition between countries, this year the stakes are higher. Athletes are competing and showing support for the ongoing humanity issues happening in China. Stay tuned for updates throughout the month of February!!