US Olympics Boycott Should Be an International Holiday, Olympian Says

  • The US recently announced a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.
  • The news was warmly received in Russia, including by a 4x gold medalist, who said the US is a “cancer.”
  • “The diplomatic boycott of the Games by the Americans is a holiday for the rest of the world.”

A Russian Olympian hailed news that the United States will not send any government officials to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters this week that, while US athletes will participate in the games, the country will boycott the event from a diplomatic standpoint.

The US government, via Psaki, cited “egregious human rights abuses in Xinjiang,” a region in which China has been accused of a possible genocide against the Uyghur Muslim population and other groups, according to the BBC.

As a result, the US government “will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games,” according to Psaki.

This development was warmly-received by Alexander Tikhonov, a four-time Winter Olympic champion in the biathlon relay event, representing the Soviet Union in four consecutive games from 1968 to 1980.

“The diplomatic boycott of the games by the Americans is a holiday for the rest of the world,” the 74-year-old biathlon icon told state-owned domestic news agency RIA Novosti.

“The United States is the most painful place on earth, it’s cancer. Look how much blood and trouble they have. It’s great that their officials will not be at the Olympics,” Tikhonov said.

“I hope thanks to this, the games will be held peacefully and without scandals.”

‘Sports isn’t about politics’

A woman in a black mask protesting China hosting the Olympics holds a sign picturing a tank with Olympic rings confronting a man in skis.

A woman holds a sign as activists rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, California on November 3, 2021, calling for a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics due to concerns over China’s human rights record.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Russian politician Vladimir Dzhabarov echoed Tikhonov’s viewpoint in a separate interview with the Russian news agency Tass.

“Sports isn’t about politics,” Dzhabarov said. “The Americans constantly try to mix sports and politics in the same pot.”

Dzhabarov described the intersection of sports and politics as “an American national entertainment.”

In an earlier interview with Tass, Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: “This is not the first time they have been discussing boycotts in relation to China, other countries, in relation to other major events in general.

“They probably have such a disease — constantly discussing boycotts.

“It seems to me, sports, and the Olympic movement is not at all about that. It is about achievements, about willpower, about the feeling of elbows, about science, about peace.”

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing begins February 4 and finishes February 20.

Russia will not officially be competing in the games following a four-year ban over the country’s state-sponsored doping programme. Russia athletes going to China will compete — as they did at the Tokyo Summer Games — under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.