Senior Staff Writer
The Olympic Games are seen by many as a way for the world to come together— where differences are set aside and everyone comes to one place to compete with each other and have fun. It is a time when athletes get to put their skills to the test and compete against some of the best. However, since Beijing was chosen to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics, many things have been brought to the surface, causing boycotts of these Olympic Games.
China has been accused of violating the human rights of its own people. Examples include the persecution of people for exercising rights like free expression or peaceful protest. There has been torture and forced labor of millions of people. President Biden announced that America would be boycotting the Olympics in a way that athletes would still be able to compete, but no officials would be sent there.
This has not only opened my eyes as to why these Olympic Games should be canceled, but to other issues as well: for instance, the effect of the Olympic Games on the environment. Every four years, a new city is chosen to host the Olympics, and the amount of space that it takes to host the games is immense. Precious amounts of land have to be torn up and sometimes people are forced out of their homes. Then, once the games are over, the venues and equipment are left there. Sometimes they can be repurposed, but most of the time they are abandoned or demolished.
While the Olympic Games do bring tourism to some cities, this event is also enormously expensive for the host city. The Olympics overall are extremely expensive, and normally costs more for the host city than the economic benefits they receive. For the host city, there are few rewards when compared to the costs.
As well, we are still in a pandemic that is affecting so many people all over the world. We have all been limited on what we can do, where we can travel, and we are having to wear masks everywhere we go. If we are still having to do these things and be cautious, then why are we still hosting the Olympics where a large number of people will gather in one area?
While these other negative effects of the Olympic games might not measure up to the accusations against China right now, they seem to only help the case for the Olympics to be canceled. The sense of pride that we used to have for the Olympics has seemed to diminish over the years, and has turned more into a money-making endeavor.
By allowing Beijing to host the Olympics we are sending a message that we see the wrong they are doing, but that the Olympics are more important than that. There are people in China who are being prosecuted, forced to work, and tortured in internment camps. If the world can come together to compete with each other in games, I believe we can come together to show China that we do not agree with what they are doing.
The Olympics has been seen as a time of peace for many, but is it really peaceful to know that while you’re watching this on television, people are being tortured for no reason?
While I have always loved the Olympics for the national pride that it brings out in fans all over the world and the peace that it brings between countries— after learning of these horrible things, it isn’t worth it for me anymore. There could be a possibility of working out these negative connotations associated with the Olympics, and then continuing them later. There are just too many cons against the pros right now. There is more than one way to create peace and sometimes tough choices have to be made.