Why Are Some Countries Boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Sports tend to bring us together. We watch sports to cheer for our national teams, our favorite clubs or our favorite athletes. Sometimes, we also bet on sports, depending on our hobbies and budgets. Some punters prefer online sportsbooks because they are more practical and because they have promo codes like this William Hill Promo Code.

However, not all sports bring us together, especially when there is controversy and unpleasantness involved. The sports are not to blame, however, but someone is. The current topic of controversy is the 2022 Winter Olympics, to be held in Beijing. Some countries are boycotting the Olympics. Why is that, you might wonder. Let us take a closer look.

Why is There Controversy Around the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Basically, China is being accused of having violated multiple human rights principles. The most recent examples include the treatment of the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang province in West China. They were placed into re-education camps, forced to work laborious jobs and some were transferred to formal prisons, even after they were “set free”. 

Mass Surveillance

Most people are familiar with the Chinese social credit system. It is a system that monitors citizens and businesses and awards them with negative and positive points, depending on what they do. This is enabled through mass surveillance and monitoring, which some people link with Big Brother and a dystopian future come to life. In reality, this has led to better traffic and overall public behavior, but also, a system which is unlikely to change. 

The Peng Shuai Case

Another recent controversy was around Peng Shuai, a WTA tennis professional, who accused Chinese politician Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. She went missing, basically, and unconvincing photographs were posted on her Twitter account. The people demanded to know where she is and whether she is alright. The WTA decided to suspend all tournaments in China, due to this situation and China’s problematic history with human rights. 

This should give an idea of why the following countries are boycotting the 2022 Olympics.

The United States

The first country to boycott the 2022 Olympics are the United States, and that should come as no surprise. The United States have had a problematic relationship with China for a while now, the most recent large case being the Huawei ban from using US technology and being sold on US territory. This boycott is political and the US government officials will not be attending the Olympics in February 2022. The athletes will compete, to clarify.

The UK, Canada and Australia

Following the US announcement, other English-speaking western countries were soon to follow. Canada was quick to follow, with a statement that nobody should be surprised, given how critical Canada is of the Chinese human rights issues.

The British were more diplomatic, stating that their officials and politicians will not be attending. They also stated that sporting boycotts would not be sensible, meaning that their athletes will also be competing. Australia was the last to join.

Will there be more countries boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics? We will find out in the following two months.