COLORADO SPRINGS — International politics is weighing on the upcoming Winter Olympics in China. Citing human rights violations, United States President Joe Biden has ordered a diplomatic boycott of the games. It means athletes will go, but no one representing the U.S. government will attend.
Summer 2008 Olympian, and now political candidate, Eli Bremer thinks the diplomatic boycott is the right choice.
"By having our athletes go over there and compete and win it doesn't shame the Chinese people, but by not sending our diplomats it shames the government.”
Bremmer, who has also done business in China, said it is best to disassociate the Chinese government from the country’s everyday people.
Bremmer’s 2008 Olympic experience was in China. He competed in the modern pentathlon. At the time there were questions about China’s relations with Sudan.
"I and many other athletes stood up and said this is wrong, but we didn't not go to China. We went to China, competed with pride, and we made our statement."
Bremer said that athletes in 2022 can do the same. He added there could be barriers with Chinese leaders controlling social media. Some say the diplomatic boycott is not enough and the United States should completely boycott the games.
"I think it's very unfair to the athlete and it just doesn't work,” said Bremer.
He referred to the 1980 U.S. boycott of the summer games in Russia as an example. Bremer said the announcement of the diplomatic boycott got the attention of Chinese leaders.
“Show we're very upset with how China's acting on the world stage right now." Chinese leaders are saying the accusations of human rights violations are fabricated.