The Olympic Charter says Olympism is “based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles…with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” An Olympics in Beijing will force our athletes to be the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda tools for garnering moral glory of being the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, lending their hard-earned professional credibility to help whitewashing the bloody record of human rights violations and further empowering the dictatorial might of CCP domestically and internationally. Must our athletes swallow that?
No, they don’t have to. They can stand up for human rights and Olympism without dashing their Olympic dreams. Only if Beijing loses the Games will the burden primarily fall on the perpetrators of the worst ongoing human rights violations.
Governments of the free world must protect our athletes and event attendees by pushing the IOC to move the 2022 Games to a free city, one that has held it before if needed. Such cities have the experience, existing facilities and infrastructure to host it again (e.g. Canada’s own Vancouver-Whistler), for which the costs and preparation time is much less, and the potential financial gains from advertising and tourism much greater. If the new host city needs more time, the 2022 Olympics can be postponed by a year, as what Tokyo has done for the 2020 Games due to COVID-19.
Sending our Olympians to Beijing is both risky and degrading. It is also short sighted for Canada and our allies. A “Move the 2022 Olympic Games” campaign will be a great opportunity and a timely platform for the free world to develop a collaborative sectoral approach in countering CCP’s aggression and bullying. Starting with our athletes, citizens in democracies, sector-by-sector, can be empowered to set global standards for what is acceptable, and what is not.
Canada’s two Michaels have held up – no confessions on TV. We can’t let them down. If IOC won’t move the Games, then we should boycott it.
End of Statement
CO-INITIATORS (in alphabetical order):
Canadian Friends of Hong Kong (CFHK)
Students for a Free Tibet Canada (SFT Canada)
Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP)