Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tom Cotton (R- Arkansas) are asking the chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee to not send Team USA athletes to compete in the 2022 Beijing, China Olympics.
In a letter to sent a letter to Olympic Committee board chair Susanne Lyons, the senators highlight the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) violations of human rights and religious freedom. They also note, "The recent disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai is an alarming reminder of Beijing’s willingness to silence any opposition."
The senators say they advocate a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Read full letter below:
VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION
November 20, 2021
Ms. Susanne Lyons
United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee The J. Edgar Hoover Building
27 S Tejon St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Dear Chair Lyons,
We write to express our concerns with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s (USOPC) ability to guarantee the welfare of Team USA at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
In a December 5, 2019, correspondence to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), I led members of the Senate in highlighting numerous human rights violations unfolding in China. With the Olympics being three months away, it is imperative that the USOPC take action and boycott the Beijing Olympics. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a country plagued with violent suppression of free speech, state-sponsored oppression, and other human rights abuses. As Communist Chinese Party (CCP) authorities enjoy unchecked power and zero accountability, American athletes could face severe endangerment.1 Moreover, China’s controversial national security law creates harsher sentences against Hong Kong residents who support secession or coordinate with foreign powers. The recent disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai is an alarming reminder of Beijing’s willingness to silence any opposition.
The CCP has a vile history of violating human rights and religious freedom. These concerns are especially pronounced given the use of new and emerging technologies to suppress groups including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Inner Mongolians, and Hongkongers.2 The Department of State annual Report on Human Rights Practices identified a peak in human rights abuses around the 2008 Olympic Games.3 This report documents numerous violations, including: forced relocations linked to Olympic infrastructure construction; mandatory travel abroad or house arrest for political prisoners during the Games; increased surveillance of civil society organizations and suspension of meetings and activities by NGOs; increased harassment of religious groups, including prominent Christian activists; directives to schools and universities
1 Alexandra Stevenson and Steven Lee Myers. “China Can’t Censor Away Growing Anger Over Athlete’s #MeToo Accusation.” The New York Times. November 17, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/17/world/asia/peng- shuai-zhang-gaoli-china-tennis.html.
2 Jing Yang. “WeChat Becomes a Powerful Surveillance Tool Everywhere in China.” Wall Street Journal. December 22,2020. https://www.wsj.com/articles/wechat-becomes-a-powerful-surveillance-tool-everywhere-in- china-11608633003.
3 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau). U.S. Department of State. February 25, 2009.
regarding guardrails for political and social discourse leading up to and during the Olympics; heightened harassment, detention, and incarceration of dissidents; restrictions on the right to assemble and raise grievances; and other abuses.4 There is no indication that the CCP will not repeat these abuses in February.
Since our 1896 debut in Athens, Team USA has produced some of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen. The USA is currently ranked number one for the most Olympic medal won of all time. In addition, our athletes have won the most overall medals for seven consecutive Olympics.5 The IOC’s Olympic Charter holds that, “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind.” With this in mind, we ask the USOPC refrain from sending American athletes to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
United States Senator
United States Senator
Ron Reich says
This is a proper letter and should be properly ignored. Olympic athletes must operate in a world independent of the geopolitical, legal, and moral one inhabited by politicians. But the point must be made or else there will be no price for an evil hegemon like China.
Our athletes have trained all their lives to make it onto the Olympic team. It may be the only Olympics they will ever qualify for. So, don't they have a "human right" to attend this event without our government abusing them by forcing them to boycott it against their will?
Nancy Reed says
It seems USA should have insisted a long time ago the.Olympics be moved to another country as it is not like we haven't known about China's atrocities. Forced organ harvesting alone should have been enough to create an uproar. I used to think USA athletes represented the USA though and apparently they no longer do. So much I don't understand...
James Springate says
And none of the things the senators mention in their letter would ever happen in the United States.
Greg the American says
Participating in Olympics would seem to be sporting event rather than a political judgement. If I take a tour of these politicians mansions will I find some plastic Made in China crap, or some Nike shoes? I bet I will. If boycotts did anything real, North Korea would have been a blooming utopia by now. As far as I'm concerned, the woke globalist Olympics can suck eggs. But, the same goes for posturing politicians performing useless theatre while elections are stolen right in front of our eyes. Let Biden hang himself out front on this one, politically a dumb move by these Republicans to echo his sentiment.
Yeah, yeah, we get that you're anti-China, now why don't you figure out how American taxpayer money was sent to a Chinese bioweapon lab for gain of function research. How about shut the government down until we figure it out? Time to fight--NOW. Time to put out statement about Olympics....crickets?
Paul Wayne Moore says
Just ask Fauci............!he knows how they got US funding
Jasper's Farm says
If Team USA needs to be fully vaccinated before they go over, won't they run the risk of dropping dead on the field of play like so many other athletes?