Will the US Boycott the 2022 Olympics in Beijing?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andy Wong/AP/Shutterstock (11841934e)Chinese figure skaters practice their routines at the Capital Indoor Stadium during a test event for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in Beijing, .
Andy Wong/AP/Shutterstock / Andy Wong/AP/Shutterstock

After billions of dollars were spent on postponed Olympic ceremonies in 2020, another costly Olympics controversy has ensued. And if there were a competition for confusion over international boycotts, the U.S. State Department would have wrapped up the gold medal by now.

See: 10 of the Most Expensive Olympics in History
Find: The Cost of the Olympics in the Year You Were Born

First, reports surfaced on CNBC Tuesday that the United States and it allies are mulling a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over concerns about human rights abuses. CNBC and other media outlets got that idea from remarks made by State Department spokesman Ned Price, who told reporters that a boycott is something the department “certainly” wishes to discuss.

Price later added that a coordinated boycott approach with other nations will not only be in the United States’ interest, but in the interest of allies and partners.

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But about an hour later, Politico reported that the State Department had denied that it was discussing a joint boycott with allies at the 2022 games. The Politico article quoted an unnamed State Department official, who said the department’s position on the 2022 Olympics hasn’t changed, and that the department has not discussed a joint boycott with allies and partners.

In any case, talk of a boycott has made the rounds in recent weeks – particularly from certain Republican leaders, who have urged the Biden administration to punish China’s government over what they deem a steady string of offenses. Those offenses include attempts to threaten Hong Kong’s autonomy, undermine democracy in Taiwan, and abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet.

See: Here’s What It Costs to Attend the Last Winter Olympics
Find: 15 Highest-Paid Olympic Athletes

For now, the Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin in Beijing on Feb. 4 next year.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte MagazineStreet & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, will be published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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