Canada announced today a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. While Canadian athletes will still be allowed to compete, no federal government officials will attend the Games.
An expert from Western University’s International Centre for Olympic Studies is available to media for comment.
Mac Ross is a kinesiology assistant professor, who studies the social history of Olympics, human rights, sport and gender, sport and race and Olympic boxing.
“By joining the United States of America and other allies in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, the Canadian government has sent a message to both the People’s Republic of China and the International Olympic Committee that they will not support the hosting of Olympic Games against the backdrop of widespread human rights violations.”
Statements made by Chinese officials that diplomatic boycotts run contrary to the spirit of the Olympic Games must be understood in historical context, says Ross.
“The People’s Republic of China has staged full boycotts of the Olympics multiple times, on purely political grounds. Why are boycotts suddenly unacceptable? The answer is simple: they place the regime’s human rights record front and centre.”
Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.
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