US athletes should boycott 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Stewart says

Dec 13, 2021, 5:52 PM
Utah Rep. Chris Stewart says the US should boycott the Bejing Winter Olympics.
(Photo: Rick Bowmer,...
Utah Rep. Chris Stewart says the US should boycott the Bejing Winter Olympics. (Photo: Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)
(Photo: Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Because of China’s mistreatment of its Muslim minority, the “malicious” response to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, military intrusions into Taiwan and the crackdown in Hong Kong, the United States should fully boycott — no US athletes competing — the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, says a Utah congressman.

President Joe Biden has called for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games in February. The United Kingdom, Canada and Australia also have done the same. The diplomatic boycott does not stop athletes from competing.

The IOC “fully respects” decision 

The International Olympic Committee said it “fully respects” the White House’s decision, adding the participation of the athletes are beyond politics,” according to USA TODAY.

But during a Sunday appearance on Fox News, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, was asked by former Congressman Trey Gowdy whether the U.S. should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Critics question China’s right to host Winter Olympics

Stewart joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Debbie to discuss further the reasons he believes a full boycott of the 2022 Beijing Games in needed.

The congressman pointed to the repression of its Uighur Muslim minority in northwest China.

“There are millions of Chinese Uighurs essentially put in concentration camp forced labor camps,” he said.

“Malicious” response to COVID-19

Stewart called the Chinese response to the COVID-19 pandemic “malicious.”

“As a direct result of that, we have millions of deaths around the world that were 100 percent avoidable, if [China] had been more forthright with the World Health Organization [WHO] and the international community” he said.

Stewart said China has been provoking Taiwan daily by sending fighters and bombers into Taiwan airspace.

Record number of China planes enter Taiwan air defense zone

Stewart referenced China’s militarization of the South China Sea. He also mentioned what he described as the collapse and taking of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Crackdown a Part of China’s Larger Strategy

“Go talk to people in Hong Kong right now who essentially lost their freedom entirely,” he said.

“Not that big of a deal”

Stewart said if the United States participates in the Beijing Games, “we’re essentially saying that ‘yeah, we’re concerned about those things, but it’s not that big of a deal.'”

Dave mentioned that in 1980, U.S. athletes boycotted the Moscow Olympics after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. In turn, the USSR announced its intentions to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics on May 8, 1984, citing security concerns and “chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria being whipped up in the United States.”

“Do you think there was something positive accomplished by those boycotts?” Dave asked.

The leadership of the Soviet Union at that time ” felt enormous distress over losing that opportunity. And again, the Chinese Communist Party and leadership feels much the same way,” said Stewart.

How much does the diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 matter?

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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US athletes should boycott 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Stewart says