Eight short months from now, the greatest athletes in the world will gather together and compete in the 24th Olympic Winter Games. Usually, Americans await this awe-inspiring event with enthusiasm and excitement. This year, though, we await it with apprehension and, frankly, disgust.
That’s because next year’s Games will be held in the People’s Republic of China, a communist nation that enslaves workers, puts women and children in concentration camps, sterilizes women, and unleashed a global pandemic that killed millions and upended the global economy.
The 2022 Games will be located in Beijing—a 5-hour train ride away from the Wuhan lab where the coronavirus pandemic likely originated, and a day away from Xinjiang Province, where the Communist Party is committing genocide against ethnic and religious minorities and has herded more than a million innocent souls into concentration camps.
The Chinese Communist Party may believe that extravagant pageantry will distract us from the reality of what they have done. But no amount of rushed urban cleaning can wipe away the moral stain that permeates the capital city of China. No golden torch can redeem the moral bankruptcy of communism. No fireworks display can make us forget that Beijing is the epicenter of evil in the world. It is no exaggeration to state that the Chinese Communist Party is the purest, most powerful, and most pervasive force for evil in the world.
Locating the Games in Beijing will enrich and embolden the Chinese Communist Party, and strengthen their hold on their captive people.
That is why the International Olympic Committee should immediately re-bid the 2022 Games and award it to a free, democratic nation. I will note that this is entirely feasible—if the Tokyo Summer Games can be postponed a year due to an event that was no fault of Japan’s government, we can certainly rebid the Winter Games on short notice if China is perpetrating crimes against humanity.
I would observe that Winter Games are far smaller and easier to move than Summer Games. The Winter Games include fewer than half the number of sports, nearly 4,700 fewer medals, only one quarter the number of events, and less than half the competing countries.
There are many, many Western democracies that could easily—easily—accommodate a relocation of the games on short notice. Some of our European partners, like France, Switzerland, Sweden, and Italy have more than enough winter sporting venues, and hotel capacity, and transportation capacity to host these games with eight months’ notice. Many of them have hosted modern games before. Many of them host national—and international—winter sporting competitions.
If the IOC fails to rebid the games, however, the United States should fully embrace an economic and diplomatic boycott. No U.S. official, company, or spectator should participate in and legitimize China’s despotic and totalitarian actions. American companies should not profit off of genocide and oppression or help line the pockets of the Communist Party officials perpetrating these crimes against humanity, these grotesque atrocities. If, and it’s a big if, we can keep our athletes safe, they should compete—and in the spirit of the great Jesse Owens, they should stare tyranny in its eye—and defeat China in every field of competition.
But the only Americans—and I mean the only Americans—that should set foot on Chinese soil are the athletes, their coaches, their essential support staff, and the necessary personnel to ensure their safety.
If the games remain in China, it will pose unique challenges to the safety, security, and privacy of those limited number of Americans who do attend. The United States government must be fully prepared for the dangers which our athletes and supporting personnel will be exposed to.
First, the Chinese government operates the most extensive, sophisticated, and invasive police state anywhere on earth. Members of the American delegation should expect the Chinese authorities to bug their hotel rooms, their vehicles, and to hack all their electronic devices.
Second, China has an ignominious history of arbitrarily detaining American citizens and other Western visitors to gain political and economic concessions, placing exit bans on foreign nationals. Members of the American delegation could be detained during their visit. Former Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell apparently shares these concerns, stating that “spectators have good reason to beware Xi Jinping’s Beijing Winter Olympics.” And I would add especially those, like, say, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who have spoken out against the Chinese Communist Party’s abuses in Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, and many other places.
Third, the Chinese Communist Party’s infringement of privacy knows no limits, and our nation’s representatives should prepare our athletes and their staff accordingly. China even considers DNA collection as a vital intelligence-gathering objective, wants to use DNA data to catapult Chinese biotech companies to global market dominance, and has reportedly conducted research on biologically-enhancing its soldiers. During the Olympics of course the DNA of thousands of world-class athletes could prove an irresistible target for the communists in Beijing, whose evil sometimes seems to verge on science fiction. So, whether through the ruse of Covid testing, or testing for performance enhancing drugs, China will have the opportunity to steal the very DNA of our elite athletes—young men and women, and in many cases, young boys and girls, who deserve our protection.
For all these reasons and many more, President Biden should forcefully call on the International Olympic Committee to re-bid the 2022 Winter Games. We must be ready if they fail to do so. That is why I have sent the president a letter urging him to prepare for the various challenges that our athletes will confront if they compete in Beijing, and asking if the Communist authorities are cooperating with U.S. efforts to protect our athletes.
If the safety, security, and privacy of our athletes cannot be guaranteed, the United States should and indeed must adopt a total and complete boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. No American should be put in harm’s way for the sake of a sporting event. President Biden ought to make these terms absolutely clear to the Communists in Beijing, and we should not compromise on them.
The athletes we send to the Olympics are not Democrats or Republicans; they do not wear donkeys or elephants on their uniform—they have no party insignia. They are Americans wearing the Stars and Stripes, bearing the standard of our great nation. It is the responsibility of our government to protect these champions. I hope this is an area in which our divided government can unite.