The 2022 Olympics, set to take place in Beijing, China in February, are surrounded by controversy and concerns about the policies and actions of the host nation’s government.
Some Canadians want a boycott of the games to protest the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granting legitimacy to the Chinese government despite numerous accusations of human rights violations.
“I don’t like it, I really don’t like how China was able to get another Olympics,” said Lucas Dezan, Vancouver resident and student of intercultural and international studies at Douglas College. “Knowing the history, like the human rights violations in China, the current human rights violations in China, whether it’s with the Tibetans and of course now with like the Uyghurs forcibly removed from homes put into, you know, they call it ‘re-education camps’ but they’re just modern-day concentration camps basically, not to mention everything that happened with Hong Kong and still like the ongoing problems with Taiwan.”
Unrest has been provoked over Beijing being awarded the games due to the claims of the Chinese government’s numerous infringements upon its minority citizens such as Tibetans, Hongkongers, and the more recent issue being pressed by activists, the genocide and detainment of the Uyghur people.
Fifty-four per cent of Canadians responded that they believed Canada should boycott the 2022 Olympics, according to a nationwide study done in March by polling company Research Co., compared to 24 per cent who believed it should proceed as planned.
“We have yet again borne witness to the hypocrisy [of the IOC],” says Mandie McKeown, the executive director for the International Tibet Network, as reported by ABC News. “They’re handing over the Olympic torch to a host government that is so far removed from holding any of [the Olympic] ideals that it seems we’re living in a kind of warped reality.”
Neither the IOC or individual nations show indication of refraining from or relocating the Olympics, which are to take place Feb. 4 to Feb. 20 next year, regardless of the substantial objection.
Despite the Canadian parliament passing a non-binding motion in February saying China’s treatment of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region constitutes genocide, the Canadian government has likewise declined to push for any form of boycott.