President Biden has announced that he’s thinking about a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. What does this mean? Not much.
This boycott would be in protest of the Chinese treatment of Uyghurs and the crackdown of freedoms in Hong Kong. It’s been proposed by international advocacy groups and some members of Congress. Biden saying that he’s seriously considering it is the first major attention the movement has received. Though he’s committing about as much as a contestant on the Bachelorette who could “see himself one day having feelings for you”.
A diplomatic boycott would prohibit an official US delegation from attending the games. Usually some diplomatic figures like the first lady and second gentleman are present at the games and symbolically lead the American contingent into the games. But the athletes would still be able to compete.
Let’s be honest, no one cares about the diplomats at the Olympics. It’s all about the athletes. And the US would still send a massive team to the Olympics. There would still be constant coverage of the games and China would still make money off the tourism and streaming rights. Only change is that we won’t have an article talking about Jill Biden’s fashion choice at the opening ceremony.
I’ve talked before about how the Olympics in general are a complete mess. You can check out our Cursed Knowledge podcast on the topic if you want more information. The TL;DR is that the Olympics put an incredible strain on the most vulnerable citizens in the host country. I’m all for boycotting the Olympics. But you can’t half-ass it. Just removing the diplomatic presence is a copout that achieves nothing and helps no one.
— Harper Hunt | November 19, 2021|