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U.S. Announce Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

U.S. Announce Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

The White House have confirmed that they will perform a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic games due to the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang”.

Earlier in the month, President Biden stated a boycott was something that his administration was “considering” but now the move has been committed and was announced by White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games”, she affirmed.

“We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights. And we feel strongly in our position and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond”.

This announcement comes two months before the winter games are set to begin. However, despite this announcement, which aims to put a serious foot down against the Chinese and their human rights record, American athletes will still be able to compete in the games with the same also applying for the Paralympic games, saying that they have their “full support and that their involvement is “beyond politics”. So is the proclamation that U.S. politicians won’t be attending the games a serious stamp of authority?

Pressure had been mounting on the Biden administration by members of congress as well as human rights activists to officially pull out of the games due to the China’s poor human rights record.

The similar boycott was staged by the U.S. back in 1980, during the Cold War. Then President Jimmy Carter boycotted the Moscow Summer Games due to the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan the year before. However, the key difference is that in 1980, the United States were in company with 64 other nations across the world.

Robert Menendez, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, described the boycott as “a necessary step to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to human rights in the face of the Chinese government’s unconscionable abuses”.

Only hours before the announcement, China had stated that a boycott of their winter games would be “a stain on the spirit of the Olympic charter” and “sensationalist and politically manipulative”.

Once the announcement was made, China dismissed the boycott claiming the announcement was “a pretentious act” and a “political manipulation”.

Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, accused Washington of “hyping a ‘diplomatic boycott’ without even being invited to the Games”.

“I want to stress that the Winter Olympic Games is not a stage for political posturing and manipulation,” Zhao voiced. “It is a grave travesty of the spirit of the Olympic charter, a blatant political provocation and a serious affront to the 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

So will this boycott make that much of a statement or a difference?

SEE ALSO: COP26 – What Were the Key Outcomes?

Which Universities Brought Home the Gold Medallists for the U.S. in Tokyo 2020?

Once again, the United States topped the medal table on the final day of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, surging in front of China, collecting 39 golds, 41 silvers and 33 bronzes totalling to 113 medals. Taking into account the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, the US have amassed 2,941 total medals among the summer and winter games, along with 1,166 gold medals.

The majority of the athletes representing the Unites States have gotten into college or have plans to enrol imminently. Information from the NCAA states that from the complete 626 members within the 2020 US Olympics team, around 75% of the athletes have participated in the various division levels at the colleges in which they attended.

Out of all of the 39 gold medal winners, the Universities that reigned supreme were the University of Southern California and Stanford University, tied at the top with 10 gold medallists each which includes the likes of Katie Ladecky (Stanford University) winning two golds in the swimming and Allison Felix (University of Southern California) winning gold in the Women’s 4x400m relay.

The full list of gold medal rankings:

1st (Joint) – University of Southern California & Stanford University (10 golds each)

  • University of Southern California: April Ross (beach volleyball); Kendall Ellis, Allyson Felix, Dalilah Muhammad (women’s track); Rai Benjamin and Michael Norman (mens’ track); Kaleigh Gilchirst, Stephanie Haralabdis, Paige Hauschild and Amanda Longan (women’s water polo).
  • Stanford University: Valarie Allman (discus); Alix Klineman (beach volleyball); Katie Ladecky (two golds in swimming); Aria Fischer, Mackenzie Fischer, Jamie Neushul, Melissa Seidemann, Maggie Steffens, (women’s water polo); Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson and Kathyrn Plummer (women’s volleyball).

3rd (Joint) – University of Connecticut & UCLA (6 golds each)

  • University of Connecticut: Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Napheesa Collier, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi (women’s basketball); Stefanie Dolson (women’s 3 x 3 basketball).
  • UCLA: Jru Holiday and Zach Levin (mens’ basketball); Rai Benjamin (men’s track); Rachel Fattal, Maddie Mussleman, and Alys Williams (women’s water polo).

5th (Joint) – University of Kentucky, University of Texas & University of Minnesota (5 gold each)

  • University of Kentucky:  Sydney McLaughlin (women’s track); William Shaner (shooting); Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker and Keldon Johnson (men’s basketball).
  • University of Texas: Ryan Crouser (men’s shot put); Lydia Jacoby (women’s swimming); Kevin Durant (men’s basketball); Ariel Atkins (women’s basketball); Chiaka Ogbogu (women’s volleyball).
  • University of Minnesota: Gable Stevenson (men’s wrestling); Bowen Becker (men’s swimming); Tori Dixon, Sarah Parsons and Hannah Tapp (women’s volleyball).

8th (Joint) – Pennsylvania State University & The University Notre Dame (4 golds each)

  • Pennsylvania State University: David Taylor (men’s wrestling); Micha Hancock, Megan Courtney and Haleigh Washington (women’s volleyball).
  • The University Notre Dame:  Lee Kiefer (fencing); Skylar Diggins-Smith and Jewell Loyd (women’s basketball); Jackie Young (women’s 3 x 3 basketball).

10th (Joint) – The University of South Carolina, University of Nebraska, Louisiana State University and Texas A and M University (3 golds each)

  • University of South Carolina: A’ja Wilson (women’s basketball); Allisha Gray (women’s 3 x 3 basketball); Wadeline Jonathas (women’s track).
  • University of Nebraska:  Jordan Larson, Justine Wong-Orantes and Kelsey Robinson (women’s volleyball).
  • Louisiana State University: Michael Cherry and Vernon Norwood (men’s track); Sylvia Fowles (women’s basketball).
  • Texas A & M University: Athing Mu (women’s track); Bryce Deadmon (men’s track); Khris Middleton (men’s basketball).

As a collective, 47 different US universities and colleges managed to acquire a gold medal winner from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games among their alumni.


SEE ALSO: What’s Happening in Afghanistan?