The 2022 Winter Olympics open in China next February and for good reason critics are calling them the Genocide Olympics.
Evidence increases by the day that the Chinese government is an evil regime that is hell bent on torturing and killing millions of its Uyghur citizens and various dissenters, employing every illegal and immoral trick in the book to achieve world domination, and holding total contempt for human rights.
The Olympics will provide China a global stage to celebrate and portray to the world an image far removed from the reality of the nation’s depravity and human suffering.
We’ve seen this bad movie before.
Flash back to 1936 when Germany used the Berlin Games (aka Nazi Olympics) as a gigantic propaganda tool to showcase a regime that was proudly racist, violent and predatory and created the gold standard for genocide in the world.
Adolf Hitler presided over the opening ceremonies in cult-like adoration from the huge crowds, Swastikas far outnumbered athletic insignia and the pageantry and power awed observers and confirmed the world’s worst fears.
As in the period leading up to Berlin 1936, there are calls for an Olympics boycott as the world again senses the gathering storm of a bully that will stop at nothing to win.
Now, as then, there is much hand wringing and sanctimony from individuals and nations from across the political spectrum.
But little action.
Despite considerable pressure and impassioned pleas, Canada, like the United States and so many other countries, has refused to boycott the Beijing games.
There is the legitimate concern that the real losers would be the athletes denied a unique opportunity for which they have trained and competed for years.
There were earlier calls for the games to be moved to another country but that would have involved great expense and there were no serious takers. Who wants to tangle with the mighty and vindictive masters of China?
At this late date, it seems there is only one way the world can show its contempt for the leaders of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. This move is in the hands of the athletes.
An athletes’ boycott of the traditionally spectacular opening and closing ceremonies broadcast live to an international audience of billions, would embarrass the host nation and bring attention to the atrocities perpetrated inside China and beyond.
There is nothing the Chinese leadership fears more than losing face. Isn’t that what the saga of the “two Michaels” was all about?
Canada arrested high-ranking Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in accordance with an extradition agreement we have with the U.S.
In quick retaliation, China imprisoned Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kourig and held them in near isolation for 1020 days.
Currently, Canadian media attention is on the uniforms our Canadian athletes will wear in Beijing.
Surely it would be wiser to focus on a campaign to persuade the world’s leading athletes to take a stand against genocide and show that this generation is serious about human rights and how they will improve this doleful world they have inherited.
It’s an opportunity of a scale that won’t be repeated for a long time.
Athletes could do what our politicians, Olympic organizers, corporate sponsors and other power brokers have refused to do.
It will take guts.
But to get to compete in the Olympics you have to have a level of courage and determination that is far,far greater than that demanded of politicians and officials in the Olympic movement.
I’m anxious to see our Canadian flag raised at medal ceremonies on the podium at the Beijing games.
I just don’t want to see it waving in President Xi Jinping’s grand parade to glorify himself and his murderous government.
A ceremony boycott would mean the games can go on and the world’s Olympians will receive the recognition they deserve.
And history will honour them for their bravery and principles long after their medals have tarnished and their records have been broken.