The 2022 Olympics will be held in Beijing, China as an international multi-sport event, scheduled to take place from February 4th to February 20, 2022. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Olympics will continue to showcase different nations’ athletic talents. However, this 2022 Olympics revolves around many problems.
According to Associated Press photo editor, Yirmiyan Arthur, to limit the Covid-19 cases, China is isolating everyone coming from abroad from any contact with the general public.
“I know the only experience of Beijing I’m going to experience is the Beijing I will see out of my bus window and my hotel window” […] I’m not really going to experience China, I’m just going to experience the Olympics within the bubble,” Arthur said.
To make sure the Covid-19 variant cases do not rise, organizers developed drastic measures to ensure the Games will not be postponed. For this to happen, Covid tests are taken daily by every athlete, reporter, and Game staff. A positive result will put the individual in a hospital or a hotel to quarantine. Due to the strict policies, the neighboring cities are also affected and closely monitored.
“Outside the bubble, Beijing authorities locked down more neighborhoods in the city’s Fengtai district on Thursday as they try to snuff out a Delta variant outbreak that has infected about 70 people. [In addition,] China has a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy under which it quickly locks down affected areas and conducts mass testing of residents to find infections and isolate them. All two million residents of Fengtai are undergoing a third round of testing since last weekend,” AP News video journalist Johnson Lai said.
In addition to the strict pandemic rules, the 13 official corporate partners of the Games are caught in the middle of the diplomatic dispute between the U.S. and China, and many are staying silent. The U.S., U.K., Australia, and Canada are among the countries to diplomatically boycott the Games, but still, have athletes participating. These countries will not send delegates to the Games as a protest against China’s alleged human rights violation.
In a BBC interview, “These companies always promote their values saying that they’re aiming for inclusivity and human rights and all these beautiful values. But when it comes to China it’s crazy how silent they become,” Zumretay Arkin, from the World Uyghur Congress, said about the Olympic partners’ response about alleged human rights abuse.
Furthermore, the official Olympic partners have kept an unusually low marketing profile. To add to this, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) told BBC that the long-term partners are not involved in the selection of the Olympic and Paralympic hosts.
According to BBC News, Some of the Game partners kept a low-marketing profile and barely mentioned “Beijing 2022” in their advertisement. To add to this, multiple tech firms associated with the international competition, Such as Omega, wanted to make clear that “they are not a sponsor of Beijing 2022 but the official timekeeper and data handler of the Olympic Games.”
A lot of discussions and controversies arise from the upcoming Winter Olympics 2022. Whether they are pandemic-related issues or criticisms regarding China’s alleged human rights abuses, the many aspects of the 2022 Olympic Games give an anxious experience to the many participants and spectators. While many of these problematic characteristics are extremely difficult to contain at this time, the game organizers still plan to do everything they can to ensure a successful 2022 Olympics.