US Olympian Slams Call for China Winter Games Boycott

Clare Egan is an American athlete who qualified for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team. She competes in the biathalon, a sport that combines the winter survival skills of cross-country skiing with target shooting.As chair of the FILE – Amanda Kessel (28), of the United States, drives the puck against Russia’s Yelena Dergachyova (59) during the third period of a women’s hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 13, 2018The quadrennial international games draw vast audiences. In 2018, 1.92 billion people — or 28% of the world’s population — watched the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, held February 9-25, FILE – Republican Senator Mitt Romney speaks with members of the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 16, 2020.”Rather than send the traditional delegation of diplomats and White House officials to Beijing, the president should invite Chinese dissidents, religious leaders and ethnic minorities to represent us,” he wrote, adding that broadcasters such as NBC, “which has already done important work to reveal the reality of the Chinese Communist Party’s repression and brutality … can refrain from showing any jingoistic elements of the opening and closing ceremonies and instead broadcast documented reports of China’s abuses.”Although world events such as the pandemic have caused cancellations of the Olympics, utilization of the games as a platform to advance human rights has a long and storied history. The U.S. last prohibited athletes from attending the games in 1980, when, along with 66 other countries, it boycotted the Moscow Games over the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.  “I know someone personally who missed the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because of that boycott,” said Egan. “And I thought that we have kind of learned our lesson from that, which was that it’s not effective and it’s definitely not fair to use young athletes as political pawns in that way.” Adrianna Zhang contributed to this report.

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