US “Diplomatic Boycott” of 2022 Beijing Olympics – Why Does It Matter?

What does it mean to boycott an event? How does it affect the host city? Is it even possible? A diplomatic boycott is an act of non-participation in an international sports competition by a country. It means that athletes representing that country would not participate in the games. The term was first used when the United States boycotted the 1932 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, California. President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not want his country to be associated with the games.

The International Olympic Committee has never officially sanctioned a diplomatic boycott. However, there have been several instances where countries have refused to send their teams to international competitions.
The most famous example occurred at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Germany had annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia after World War I, and many people felt that these actions were illegal. The German government wanted to avoid the games’ controversy, so they boycotted them. Only two nations sent representatives: Sweden and Switzerland. Many other countries followed suit.

Another example occurred during the 1980 Moscow Olympics. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the United States imposed sanctions on the USSR, including boycotting the 1980 Summer Olympics.
In addition to the above examples, there are also cases of countries refusing to attend certain sporting events. For instance, Cuba refused to participate in the Pan American Games in 1959. The United States Olympic Committee has never formally endorsed a diplomatic boycott. However, it has encouraged its members to refrain from participating in such activities.

How Can a Country Boycott an Event Like this?
The main reason to boycott an event is to protest something or someone else. Nations usually do not boycott an event out of spite. It is more likely that they will refuse to compete if they feel that the event is unfair.
For example, the USOC may decide that a particular sport is too dangerous for its athletes. Or perhaps the USOC feels that the game’s rules are unfair or against the spirit of the games.

Other reasons include political issues, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Also, the US and USSR were involved in a tense standoff over nuclear weapons during that time. The Soviets threatened to block off all shipping lanes into the Atlantic Ocean. If the Soviets had done so, it could have caused a global economic crisis.
As a result, the USOC decided that it would not allow its athletes to participate in any international athletic competitions until the crisis ended.

The Souring Relations Between US and China
Relations between the US and China began souring in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square protests. When the Chinese government violently suppressed those demonstrations, the US reacted strongly.
President George H. W. Bush declared that the US would no longer recognize the communist regime in Beijing. He also said he would not support any future Olympic Games held in China. After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the US resumed normal relations with China. However, the US still does not want to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in China because of human rights concerns.

Why Did the IOC Choose Russia Instead of China?
The IOC chose Russia because they believed that the Russian government was willing to make significant changes to improve conditions for athletes and spectators.
China had promised to make improvements, but it failed to deliver. Some reports say that things got worse. The IOC also thought that the Russians would provide better security than the Chinese.

What Happens if the US Boycotts the 2022 Winter Olympics?
If the US refuses to send its athletes to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, then the IOC cannot fill the gap left by the US. It means that the IOC would need to find another host city. It could lead to problems. First, the IOC might not be able to find a suitable candidate. Second, the IOC might end up having to pay more money to host the games.
The IOC spent $4 billion to bring the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics to Brazil. That cost included paying for new stadiums and other infrastructure. If the IOC decides to spend even more money on the 2022 Winter Olympics, the costs could go beyond $5 billion. It is also possible that the US could withdraw from the entire Olympic movement. As a result, the IOC would lose one of its most prominent sponsors.
In addition, the USOC would probably stop sending teams to international events. It would also likely stop funding Olympic sports programs at colleges and universities across the nation. Finally, the USOC would likely cut back on its Olympic-related activities. For example, it might reduce the number of national team memberships available to young athletes.

How Can the US Boycott Hurt the International Community?
The US boycott will hurt the international community. Many countries are already concerned about human rights abuses in China. For example, Amnesty International says that there have been 1 million forced abortions since 1979. They believe that this figure represents only a fraction of all abortions performed under China’s one-child policy.
Amnesty International believes that the Chinese government uses torture and arbitrary detention to silence critics. Many people believe that China is trying to control information and censor the internet. Some people think that the Chinese government uses cyberattacks to steal intellectual property. Others worry that China is building an army of hackers to attack foreign computers.

Will the US Boycott Affect the US Economy?
No. The US economy is doing well right now. Businesses are making record profits. However, many businesses are worried about what might happen in the future. If the US were to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics, that could cause economic problems.
Businesses might decide to hold off on plans to expand their operations. Some companies might choose to move some or all of their business overseas.

How Will the US Boycott Affect American Athletes?
American athletes who compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics might feel cheated if they do not participate. They might argue that the US should not be allowed to boycott the games. This argument might become more robust if the US boycotts other major international sporting events.

Share This