The XXIV Olympic Winter Games have come to an end. Beijing 2022 now shifts focus to the 2022 Winter Paralympics. Those won’t start for like two more weeks. In this post I am not going to recap every single thing that happened. I am just going to give my thoughts on what happened while talking about some of the events. If you want to know more about what happened on each day you can check out anyone of my 40+ blog posts on the 2022 Olympics.
Daily 2022 Olympic Posts
Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3 – Day 4 – Day 5 – Day 6 – Day 7 – Day 8 – Day 9 – Day 10 – Day 11 – Day 12 – Day 13 – Day 14 – Day 15 – Day 16 – Day 17 – Day 18 – Day 19
Leading up to the 2022 Olympics there was politics involved. There were calls to boycott the games as soon as they were awarded to China in 2015. The calls to boycott got louder and louder as the games got closer. It’s not a surprise either. For a long time there has been a constant threat that China will invade Taiwan. Tensions between China and Japan over the South China Sea have been ongoing. There have been growing tensions between China and the United States. All of that was before the ongoing situation in Hong Kong. Around the same time as westerners started to care about Hong Kong, they were finding out about the Xinjiang conflict. As part of the Xinjiang conflict since 2017 China has been committing genocide against the Uyghur people in China.
In 2020 everything was shut down due to COVID. COVID originated in China. Whether it was a bioweapon released intentionally by the Chinese Communist Party we don’t know. It hasn’t been officially confirmed by anyone. The Chinese Communist Party will never admit to it. Just like they don’t admit to genocide or anything else that westerners find morally wrong. Part of the boycott efforts were COVID related. People who related COVID with malicious intents from China were upset at China and didn’t want the games to happen. On the other hand there were people who thought COVID is such a threat that the Olympics shouldn’t happen. Those people also had that concern in 2021 with the Tokyo Olympics. When the 2020 Olympics were delayed, there was questions about if or when the 2020 Olympics would happen. Those questions lead to concerns if the 2022 Olympics would even happen.
The Tokyo Olympics ended up happening in 2021. As those games being reorganized, the International Olympic Committee said that the 2022 Olympics would go on as planned. The NHL has always had a will they won’t they relationship with the Olympics. They did announce that they would allow players to go to the Olympics. Just a few months after announcing that they would allow players to go to the 2022 Olympics, the NHL announced that they would not be allowing players to go. The NHL placed blame on Chinas COVID policies for the 2022 Olympics. I think Team USA had some information ahead of time about the conditions of the 2022 Olympics. I think the NHL had some of this information, thats why they decided not to go. I think they knew what was to come and didn’t like it.
I think that the reason that the boycott got so big was because of the current popularity of being negative towards China in mainstream western culture. Back in 2016 there wasn’t a lot of people in the western world (especially in mainstream culture) who were concerned about China. I think the turning point was Hong Kong. Once Hong Kongs struggle for freedom reached the mainstream in western culture that’s when things changed. That’s when people started to be negative about China. Negativity surrounding China in wester culture went from Hong Kong to the Xinjiang conflict and was amplified by COVID. All of this combined turned into a boycott movement. I think a lot of this was superficial. Cancel culture is really popular in western culture at the moment. I think a lot of people hopped on to the boycott because it was popular. I think that people have a sense of moral superiority when they feel like they are doing the right thing. It’s easy to tweet something or follow the mob or say something is bad, but most people wont do anything. A good example of what I am trying to express is that the struggle for freedom is still on going in Hong Kong but western culture has moved on. Not watching the Olympics or tweeting something isn’t going to stop the genocide in China. I was for a boycott. I was hoping that the United States wouldn’t go. I was hoping for a gesture that would show the world that the United States is on the side of Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Uyghur people, Japan, and India. What we got instead was USA not sending any dignitaries. That honestly means nothing. I think that knew that. To understand why the United States didn’t boycott the Olympics look at how much money the United States gets from China. Look at what politicians are in the pockets of China.
I didn’t want to talk about politics. I tend to use sports as an escape from the world. Politics are one of the things I love to escape. Unfortunately the 2022 Olympics were nothing but politics. I just wrote four paragraphs on politics. I like to avoid talking about politics on my blog. That’s not what this blog is about. I don’t like how people violently militaristic about politics. I know politics ruin things for people. I also don’t like how people will assume things about other people based on a single political opinion. People are complex. Not everyone agrees on everything. I don’t want people to hate what I do just because they have a different opinion.
Onto the 2022 Olympics. It wasn’t long before the news broke about the treatment of athletes. Athletes who tested positive for COVID regardless of symptoms were sent into isolation until they tested negative on back to back days. If they did have symptoms they were hospitalized. Athletes who were healthy were spending multiple days and sometimes weeks in isolation. This of course effected athletes ability to compete. This effected their physical and mental strength. According to some reports the food they were getting in isolation wasn’t even eatable. As reports of that were coming in there was also reports of a lack of food. Some of the venues didn’t have food or it was extremely limited. The United States somehow prepared for this by bringing their own food. There were also other reports of human rights violations.
Treatment of athletes was a huge issue during the Olympics. It should come as no surprise that a communist country is treating people poorly or has a lack of food. After all that country is also committing genocide while hosting the olympics. The International Olympic Committee said they were going to fix concerns presented by the athletes. I’m pretty sure that these concerns were brought up to the IOC prior to the media reports. All the IOC did was respond after the media reports. I don’t think anything was ever properly addressed by the IOC. I think the IOC made a statement, thought their job was done and moved on. A big reason why I think the IOC never addressed concerns from athletes is that after a snowboarding event, the athletes were asking for snacks from the media. There was also an incident where a Cross-Country Skier collapsed. That person had won that event in other competitions. She was perfectly heathy before the Olympics. I’m confident that she collapsed due to a lack of nutrition.
I think some of the pictures like Finland in the locker room with a bunch of food was set up. China does stage a lot of pictures especially after being criticized. I can’t confirm this but I think they might have put extra food in the locker room knowing that they were going to take pictures in the locker room after the game. Notably when they showed Canada in the locker room for another game, there was significantly less food in the locker room.
The thing that is overshadowed almost everything else is Figure Skating. First off there was an American competing for China. She fell during her routine. Chinese social media tore her apart. They hated the idea of non Chinese people competing for China. On the other side of that North American athletes competing for China that were winning they loved. Before the story of the American figure skater competing for China even came to an end more news was breaking.
In what was probably the biggest story from the 2022 Olympics, ROC (Russia) was caught doping again. During the team event one of the ROC (Russia) skaters tested positive for a banned substance. They didn’t hand out the medals for the team event. There was a hearing. At the hearing they decided to allow her to continue to skate. It’s ridiculous and shouldn’t have happened. She should have been gone. The ROC (Russia) figure skating teams should have been gone. Russia should have been banned from the next Olympics because of this. Russian figure skating should have been banned from competing until after the next Winter Olympics. She should have gotten a permanent ban from the sport. What happened instead? The International Olympic Committee decides to look the other way. It’s part of a bigger issue in figure skating. Figure skating is fundamentally flawed as a sport. For examples of this look at Tonya Harding and Surya Bonaly. Figure Skating can be brutal. For young figure skaters it can be like child pageants. In the competitive world, there is an idea of what a figure skater should look like and be. Those who don’t fit in don’t win. In a lot of ways it is like a pageant. They are not looking for the best technical ability, they are looking for the new face of figure skating. By the time it gets to the Olympics, they have gotten rid of everyone who they don’t want to be there. Figure skaters wont even acknowledge let alone address these issues. Figure Skating is unfair and exclusive, yet they let people like the Russian figure skater to continue to compete because she fits the profile of a figure skater.
The doping issue will lead to more doping issues in the future. Since they allowed her to continue to skate, there is nothing in the way everyone else in the olympics from doping now. I think the Olympics could very easily end up like baseball. In the sense that doping is prevalent yet hidden. Those who get caught will only get a slap on the wrist. There only going to hand out punishments if it becomes a media circus. This could be bad for everyone involved but it is a possibility.
There were a lot of North American athletes competing for China. One of the big stories was that they went letting their Women’s Ice Hockey goalie speak english. The goalie was Canadian. This led me to believe that they didn’t let any of their athletes speak anything but mandarin. That is another human rights issue. Personally I am against athletes competing for other countries. It’s one thing to help a country grow a sport as a coach or staff member. It’s a whole other thing to get a citizenship just so that a person can compete in the Olympics. It can be selfish. It can be bad for the growth of sports in that country. It can also be discouraging for athletes from that country. China is the most populated country in the world. They couldn’t find enough of their own athletes to compete? They had to pay an American 40+ million to snowboard for them? The reaction form the Chinese people reportedly was that if they won, they didn’t care where they came from. If they lost, they were hated. One of the people they did hate was Nathan Chen. He is an American. The Chinese said that he betrayed China by competing for America. This probably wouldn’t be the case except he won. It’s a really crazy thing. They hated athletes because they weren’t really Chineses. They praised athletes who weren’t really Chineses but won. They hated athletes who they felt were Chineses who won, but didn’t compete for China.
Another big story was the ROC (Russia) vs Canada Women’s Ice Hockey game. The game was delayed over an hour. The reason behind this was that ROC (Russia) didn’t give Canada their COVID test results prior to the game. So that’s one rule ROC (Russia) broke in this. It was finally agreed that the game would go on. The only catch was that everyone (players, officials, coaches, team staff) needed to wear masks. Then in the third period ROC (Russia) decided not to wear masks. Second rule broken in one game. Was there any punishment for this? Nope.
There were plenty of reports from multiple different sports about bias judging. The first story about this was that the Chinese embassy in the Republic of Korea was scared because the Koreas were talking about it online. The second big story was during Snowboarding. The announcer went off because of how mad he was. The judging for that event wasn’t being fair. It was pretty bad. It was definitely bias. Athletes were given lower scores seemingly intentionally. So the commentator went off about it. I think that’s the first time that’s happened on NBC. Usually they try to avoid talking negatively about the event or officiating. Poor judging leads to questions of corruption. Of course this wouldn’t be the first time China or the IOC has been accused of corruption.
USA struggled this Olympics. The Men’s Ice Hockey team didn’t medal. The Women only got silver. The United States came in 4th in a lot of the events that they normally win. I think the reason why the United States struggled a lot is because of the athlete treatment. I do think some of it is related to the struggles of training under COVID. I think part of this also comes from Team USA not having funds. I think it was 2018 or sometime in there that they ran out of money. Part of that is that they aren’t government funded. I believe a lot of sponsors pulled out after the 2016 Rio Olympics. After the disappointing events that were the 2014 and 2016 Olympics (along with politics attached to those games) and the Russian doping, I think a lot of sponsors pulled out. Team USA has a lot less money. They aren’t able to send as much money to as many places. This means that it may be harder for athletes to train or that the training is all up to them. For example a lot of the skiers and snowboarders have to find their own way to train or to get to competitions. For those at the top it is usually not as hard as those on the bottom. It’s tough and it gets even tougher when COVID is there and some athletes couldn’t even train for months. Then poor treatment of athletes and bad judging come into play and it is easier to understand why USA didn’t do as well as they did in the past.
Were these the worst olympics ever? Possibly. Could it be worse? Absolutely. Violating human rights at the Olympics is the worst thing that can happen at the Olympics. These are definitely the worst games in my lifetime. Beijing 2008 was ok. Vancouver 2010 was good. London 2012 was good. Sochi 2014 was bad. Rio 2016 was bad. Pyeongchang 2018 was good. Japan 2021 was bad. Beijing 2022 was bad. out of the last eight Olympics I think only three of them were good. All of that with the incredible cost, it’s easy to understand why no one wants to host or sponsor the Olympics. The Olympics in France, Italy and then in the United States should be better. Only time will tell if the downward spiral the olympics are in will continue.