It’s tragic when global conflicts affect athletes who have devoted their lives to accomplishing a goal, but once again, we could be headed down that path because of the tension in our country’s relationship with China.
The spokesperson for the U.S. State Department told reporters today that the United States and its allies are considering a joint boycott of the Winter Olympics coming up next year in Beijing.
That is horrible news for lugers, bobsledders, figure skaters and curlers preparing to compete for a gold medal.
“It [a joint boycott] is something that we certainly wish to discuss. A coordinated approach will not only be in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners,” Ned Price said.
The reason the U.S. is considering this type of extreme action is because of China’s human rights abuses. Back in March, the United States sanctioned a couple of Chinese officials for what our government feels was their involvement in the human rights abuses against minorities in Xinjiang.
The Chinese government denies the charges that it has committed genocide against Muslims in Northwest China. “Malicious lies” is the way Chinese officials described them.
The Winter Olympics are less than a year away. Athletes in the U.S. will be facing their most critical training months as they hope to qualify and then compete on a world stage.
They could be pawns in this political stare-down, just like American Summer Olympic athletes were back in 1980 when the Games were held in Moscow. That was the last time the U.S. boycotted an Olympic Games.