Organisers are busy putting the finishing touches to the third of three Olympic Games to be staged in East Asia following the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo that was postponed for 12 months due to COVID. 2022 will be the first Winter Olympics to be staged in China, but it could go ahead without representatives from the United States following a threat to withdraw from US president Joe Biden.
In national newspapers in every country worldwide, it has been reported that the Biden administration may not send an official delegation to Beijing in time for February’s opening ceremony. This is in response to what is being described by many respected political journalists as a stance against human rights abuses in China. The shock news surfaced shortly after Biden and President Xi Jinping – who is scheduled to open the games on a 17-day celebration of sport at the Beijing National Stadium from 4th February – held a virtual summit to discuss multiple policy issues.
This news has caused the leading sportsbook betting apps covering Beijing 2022 and offering odds on the outcome of events and the overall medal table to adjust their prices. The leading Canada sports betting sites have become more confident in Team Canada bagging more medals than any other nation competing,, and the shake-up has also caught the eye of value hunters, sports fans looking to make a profit from the confusion by placing their bets on over-priced teams.
Nothing has been decided
The details remain sketchy at this stage as there has been no confirmation of any boycott from anyone connected to the White House in Washington DC, the Chinese authorities or the Olympic Commission. All reports at present are based on anything from unknown inside sources to rumours but the number of media reports suggesting a boycott are growing which would suggest there’s something in the story.
How would a US boycott affect the Winter Olympics, what would it mean for the United States athletes and what would such a drastic measure achieve? Let’s examine each of these questions below and try to give a reliable response to each.
Table of Contents
Will Team US compete at the Winter Olympics?
Under the proposed boycott the United States would still send a full team to Beijing 2022 and compete in events this February but they won’t be joined in the country by any form of political delegation. The athletes will be there and competing for medals and there is sure to be a strong turnout in terms of supporters. This would be purely a political statement from Joe Biden and his officials, giving a show of solidarity against what they believe to be serious breaches of human rights in China.
That means, on the face of it, those watching the Winter Olympics on television and through live streams at betting apps wouldn’t necessarily know the US were boycotting. It looks to be purely driven by politics but without having an impact on the sports and athletes. The Olympic Games should be free of politics or any type of descrimination. Instead the sports should be the focus.
The boycott is a measure from the White House in America that is designed to show it’s unwavering belief that China’s incarceration and steralisation of its Muslim Uyghur population is genocide. This is added to the United States’ opposition to China’s moves against democracy in Hong Kong and Tibet.
A boycott of the Winter Games certainly won’t change any of these issues but it does make headlines and that’s something the US will view as a worthwhile exercise. Using the Olympic stage to advertise their opposition to China isn’t ideal but it will be noticed. Sports fans preparing to watch the Winter Olympics in Beijing, reading previews and making their predictions may stumble across the news of the US political boycott and, perhaps, read more into the reasons behind it.
Returning to sports, here are some snippets of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic information you may find useful when planning to follow the event. The Winter Olympics begin on 4th February with the opening ceremony at the Beijing National Stadium. The closing ceremony comes from the same venue on 20 February and there are 109 events on the programme with seven sports covered.