US State Department Steps Back From The Idea Of Boycotting Olympics 2022

The Biden administration backs away from the idea of a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Check out why.

Aditi Sharma

April 8, 2021

Trending News

3 min

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The United States Department denied in the evening on 4 April that it was taking into consideration a joint boycott alongside allies of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. In an emailed statement, a senior State Department official said, “Our position on the 2022 Olympics has not changed. We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners”.

Initially, during a press briefing, Department spokesman Ned Price suggested that a boycott of the Olympic Games was among the possibilities for addressing China’s human rights abuses. The Olympic Games are due to take place between 4 February to 20 February.

The diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games and discussions related to it would come as the Biden administration works to rally allies to mount international pushback on China. While there is broad bipartisan support for taking a tougher policy stance against China, a unanimous boycott of the Beijing Olympics is not confirmed and it is not certain that it would be a productive path to pursue in context to attacking China.

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The emailed statement also mentioned, “It’s better to go there and dominate. It’s better to be Jesse Owens than the Soviets in ’84.” (Owens, a Black American sprinter, won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Nazi Berlin. The Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 games in Los Angeles after the U.S. snubbed the 1980 games in Moscow in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.)

Later, Ned Price wrote on Twitter that “we don’t have any announcements regarding the Beijing Olympics and that the event was a ways off.  A state department official disputed that Price had said the US had discussed a boycott. “We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners,” the official said.

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