President to Boycott 2022 Winter Olympics

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A skier practices for the 2022 Beijing Olympics

Jaelyn Hudson, A&E Editor

President Joe Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics on Dec. 6 in response to the continued genocide and human rights issues occuring in China. 

This act will not exclude any U.S. athletes from competing. 

“[A diplomatic boycott] means that the United States will not send a high-level, official delegation to the Olympics, which would usually be featured in the photo opportunities at the opening and closing ceremonies,” said Victor Cha, writer for the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).

According to Cha, diplomatic presences at the Olympics in the past have included presidents, vice presidents, and first and second ladies. 

Biden is not the first to instate a diplomatic boycott at the Olympics, but he is first to avoid involving the athletes.

“This reflects lessons well-learned from the 1980 Carter administration boycott of the Moscow Summer Games for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which destroyed the Olympic dreams of many U.S. athletes,” Cha said. “To extend the currently planned boycott to athletes would effectively sanction them for Chinese human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, which makes no sense.”

And White House press secretary Jen Psaki continued to support the athletes throughout her announcement of the boycott. 

“The athletes on Team USA have our full support,” Psaki said. “We will be behind them 100% as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games. 

“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang. And we simply can’t do that.”

Though the boycott was not intended to impact the games or the athletes, people have taken to social media to further the burden of the act. 

“Everyone should boycott the Olympics after what China did to the world,” one Twitter user said. 

Others agreed. 

“This is the easiest, least costly measure any of us will ever make, I’m begging you. All of us. Boycott the Olympics. Do not watch a second of it,” another user said.

And these tweets have made an impact. 

According to Business Insider, viewership of the 2022 games is expected to be half that of the 2018 games. 

Despite the expected unpopularity, the 2022 Olympics will begin Feb. 4, and the Paralympics will take place one month later.