As the Beijing Winter Olympics approaches, the United States has initiated a political show of “diplomatic boycott” followed by a few western countries. But the international community and international sports circle choose to make strong voice to defend the Olympic spirit, strengthen the human solidarity, supporting the Beijing Olympics, and opposing sports politicization.
Winter Olympics, a time for solidarity
The Olympic Games is the arena of athletes and a grand carnival of the world. The Beijing Winter Olympics is deemed to be the best opportunity for countries to narrow differences through dialogue, replace confrontation with cooperation and move forward together into the future.
President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach said the Games aim to unite the world and meddling in politics would be the end of the Olympic movement.
On December 11, 2021, the 10th Olympic Summit issued a declaration opposing the politicization of the Olympic Movement and sports, stressing the importance of political neutrality by the IOC, the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement as a whole.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Greek Culture and Sports Minister Menzoni and the Hellenic Olympic Committee Secretary General Kolympadis said that Greece firmly supports the Olympic spirit of peace and friendship and opposes the politicization of sports.
The vice president of the Swiss Confederation and Foreign Minister Cassics expressed his opposition against the politicization of sports and believes the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a success.
Spanish Foreign Minister Albares said that sports transcend politics and wished the Beijing Winter Olympics a complete success. Spanish Ambassador to China Dezcallar said that the Olympic Games represent harmony and have become a symbol of friendship and peace among countries and peoples of the world.
Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his country eagerly looks forward to taking an active part in the Beijing Winter Olympics and opposes the use of ideology and political issues to interfere with sports.
“The relationship between sports and politics should be carefully handled to prevent politics from getting into sports as much as possible, otherwise it could lose control and ultimately kill competitive sports,” said Blanquer, France’s minister for National Education, Youth and Sports.
South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Choi Young-sam said his country always supports the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics and hopes the Games will contribute to peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the world as well as the development of inter-Korean relations.
Argentina was one of the first countries to express support for the Beijing Winter Olympics, a foreign ministry statement said. Argentina Foreign Minister Cafiero and Tourism and Sports Minister Lammens all voiced their support for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
In a public statement, the Syrian Olympic Committee said that the United States is not sending government officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics complaining of China’s human rights violations, and some countries are following. The Syrian Olympic Committee firmly supports China’s opposition to the above actions and stresses that the basic principles and purposes of the Olympic Charter, including “political neutrality in sports”, should be observed and the slogan of the Beijing Winter Olympics, “Together towards the Future”, should be respected.
“I don’t think there is an international attempt to politicize the Beijing Olympics,“said Bechvarov, secretary general of the Bulgarian Ice Hockey Federation. Politicians should not interfere with the Olympics under any circumstances and sports should not be politicized.
Geoff Lipshute, head of Australian Chef de Mission for the Beijing Winter Olympic said his country’s athletes would ignore politicized rhetoric about the Games from politicians and media and would focus on the games themselves.
IAAF president Sebastian Said international sports is a powerful force for good and should not be used as a tool of diplomacy. A “diplomatic boycott” against the Beijing Winter Olympics is a “pointless and harmful posturing” that would backfire and seriously damage international sports.
Recently, resolutions have come out from a series of conferences between China and numerous countries, forums and organizations for supporting Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympic Games and opposing sports politicization.
An opportunity to defeat the pandemic
The Olympic Truce resolution adopted by the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on December 2, 2021 emphasizes that the Beijing Winter Olympics will be an opportunity to demonstrate the values of human solidarity, resilience and international cooperation.
Saurav, member of the National Committee of the Communist Party of India and National General Secretary of the All India Students Association, said China has achieved great success in fighting the pandemic and set a good example for the world. Although there are some voices in western countries to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, those who hyped up the topic are all for their own political purposes, and I believe China can defeat these political schemes one by one.
Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari said that confronting the severe challenge of the pandemic, the Olympic spirit can play a positive role.
Hellenic Olympic Committee President Capralos said that despite the global difficulties caused by COVID-19, the Games and sports would bring people together seeing the best athletes in the world competing.
Yasuhiro Yamashita, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, wishes the Beijing Winter Olympics a success and brought hope, light, courage and vitality to the world under the pandemic.
“The Beijing Winter Olympics is not only about sports, but more importantly, it can send an important message to the world that all countries work together to overcome various diseases and difficulties in the face of COVID-19,” said Pakistan Olympic Committee President Hasan.
It is not easy to hold the Beijing Winter Olympics against the backdrop of the severe COVID-19 situation, said Director of the General Office of the Russian Olympic Committee. The international community is concerned about the health and safety of athletes. China has done a lot of work and made full preparations for this. We believe the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a complete success.
President of the Skating Association of the Philippines Dyan Cheng said that the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a very unique and exciting event under the COVID-19 situation. She hoped that everyone is healthy and safe and everything goes well.
International Olympic Committee member And Zimbabwean Minister of Youth and Sports Coventry said the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics will play an important role in dispelling the shadow of the pandemic and boosting the confidence of people around the world to unite against the virus.
An opportunity to exchange and learn from each other
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach believes the Beijing Winter Olympics will usher in a new era of winter sports.
Wim Geerts, Dutch Ambassador to China, said China has a reputation for hosting large-scale events. The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, was a “miracle”, and I believe that the Beijing Winter Olympic Games will also offer the world a feast of ice and snow sports.
Mikkola, Finnish ambassador to China, said China and Finland have extensive cooperation in winter sports. A number of Finnish companies have participated in the construction of venues for the Beijing Winter Olympics for the preparation of the upcoming games.
Italian Olympic Committee President Malago said he particularly hoped Italy and China could strengthen cooperation from the Beijing Winter Olympics to the Milan-Cortina Winter Games.
The Polish Olympic Committee has always been committed to promoting sports cooperation between the two countries and will give strong support to the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics, said The President of the Polish Olympic Committee Krasnicki.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Olympic Committee President Kvesic said he was deeply impressed by China’s excellent Olympic organizing work. Bosnia and Herzegovina is very much looking forward to participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics.
China will host an unprecedented green Winter Olympic Games and create high-quality, green and sustainable winter sports facilities, said Romanian Olympic Committee President Covaliu.
Farromba, President of Portugal Winter Sports Federation said China has made huge efforts to overcome COVID – 19, meanwhile pushing forward the preparation of the Games in the level of high standard, high quality, high efficiency, for facilities, personnel management, logistics and other aspects with very strict requirement, which is commendable and admirable.
Former Croatian Prime Minister and Croatian Olympic Committee President Matesa said the Committee and he firmly support the Beijing Winter Olympics. I am confident that China will overcome the negative impact of the pandemic and host a splendid Olympic Games. Croatian Assistant Minister of Tourism and Sports said it is believed the Winter Olympics will further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of winter sports.
Currently, preparation for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games has entered the final countdown stage. The construction of all the 12 competition venues have been completed, and the operating teams and personnel of each venue are ready. Beijing will make history by becoming the first city of two Olympic Games.