Public Criticizes Everything About Beijing Olympics


via flickr

a picture of the olympic symbol

As the Beijing Olympics have drawn to a close, there seems to be a nearly unanimous sense of dissatisfaction. Many concerns have been voiced, and the critics are screaming. These actions are not without reason. In fact, the Beijing Olympics have brought many unpleasant things to light.


The center of the latest controversies can be found in China’s stance on human rights. Or rather, China’s lack of stance on human rights. Accusers state that China has been using sports to distract from matters of human rights, a practice known as sportswashing. Olympians have been warned by the Beijing Organizing Committee that “Any behavior or speech that is against the Olympic spirit, especially Chinese laws and regulations, are subject to certain punishment.” Many took this as a threat, including the Human Rights Watch. This group warned competitors that voicing opinions was not allowed in China at this point and that media platforms should be used instead unless anyone wished to face legal ramifications.


Additional unhappiness arose among the crowds when everything got a bit too political. Rule Fifty prohibits athletes from spouting propaganda about racial, religious, or political matters in the Olympic Charters. However, people have been blatantly disregarding this. While it is true that Rule Fifty has been weakened so that athletes’ views are not entirely censored, some competitors have been pushing the boundaries a bit too much. 


“When you engage in an event — the actor in a theater, the athlete in a Games — you have to respect the rules,” says Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), on the topic of athletes dissing each other on the podium due to differing world views. 


Groups and individuals that criticized China’s subpar stance on basic human rights, especially towards the minority of Uyghur people in China, called people to protest silently by skipping parts of the Olympics, including the opening ceremony. This wounded the Beijing Olympics quite a bit, as a lot of people refused to show up. Even Jen Psaki, President Biden’s press secretary commented on the subject, stating that the current events in China are “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity.” She continued with, “We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games,” establishing the lack of support China had from the United States.


It is a terrifying reality that Olympians had to carefully choose their words, careful to not upset China, lest they disappear like the tennis star Peng Shuai, who went missing for weeks after making accusations of sexual assault against Zhang Gaoili, the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party. Critics have gone berserk, and the people are restless over the events that have taken place.