Prepare for another weird Olympics viewing experience. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) provided a first look into the coronavirus pandemic protocols that will be in place for the 2020 Beijing Winter Olympics. Don’t bother looking into travel arrangements if you reside outside of China. Foreign spectators, including athletes’ family members and friends, will be barred from attending, just as happened during the Summer Olympics in Toyko.
There will be lengthy quarantines for unvaccinated participants and daily COVID-19 testing. The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games participants and athletes not fully vaccinated will be quarantined for 21 days upon arrival in Beijing. They will enter a “closed-loop management system” when they arrive in Beijing. If they can provide a medical exemption, their case will be considered. All vaccines recognized by international organizations, including WHO, will be accepted.
From 23 January until the end of the Paralympics, a closed-loop management system will be implemented to ensure the safe delivery of the Games. This closed-loop management system will cover all Games-related areas, including arrival and departure, transport, accommodation, catering, competitions, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Within the closed loop, participants will be allowed to move only between Games-related venues for training, competitions and work. A dedicated Games transport system will be put in place.
Only residents of China’s mainland will be allowed to attend the Olympic Games when they meet the requirements. Guests like parents or family members and friends of athletes will not be allowed, same as the Tokyo Olympics. All athletes and delegation members will be required to remain in the Olympic Village hotels.
The IOC and IPC welcome the decision to allow for the sale of tickets to spectators residing in China’s mainland. This will facilitate the growth of winter sports in China by giving those spectators a first-hand Olympic and Paralympic experience of elite winter sports, as well as bringing a favourable atmosphere to the venues. However, all parties feel for the athletes and the spectators from around the world, knowing that the restriction on spectators from outside mainland China had to be put in place in order to ensure the safe holding of the Games this winter.
Team USA announced earlier this month that it will require all of its athletes and staff members to be fully vaccinated in order to travel to Beijing.
Since there will be some Chinese allowed to watch the competitions, the Beijing Olympics may not be as strange as the Toyko Olympics were from a viewing perspective. Empty seats in the venues and a lack of applause were unsettling during the Toyko Olympics. The organizers decided to pipe in canned applause to at least make the competitions sound a little more normal. Athletes feed off the audience support and it had to have affected their morale during competition. Only a few VIPs will be allowed to attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Get your patriotic-themed winter wardrobe organized, Jill Biden. I see more fluff pieces coming about her support of the American athletes, particularly the women athletes in her future.
All the details have not been presented yet. More details will be released in October. The IOC worked with the Chinese government to come up with pandemic protocols. The goal is to limit new cases of coronavirus in the country. In Japan, the effort to keep contamination down was partly successful. Only a few cases were detected among the athletes but the number of cases in the country in general exploded.
There has been talk of boycotting the Winter Olympics in Beijing for political reasons. Beijing hosted its first Olympics in 2008 and President George W. Bush attended. Now the political atmosphere is different. Besides anger over the origin of the coronavirus that turned into a worldwide pandemic, there are growing political tensions between China and Western countries.
Human rights groups have long called for a full-blown boycott of the events as a protest against China’s alleged mistreatment of ethnic Uyghurs, Tibetans and other minority groups, its national security crackdown on Hong Kong and other issues. Some members of the U.S. Congress have also urged pulling out, a sign of growing bipartisan anger. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in May called for a diplomatic boycott — not sending an official delegation — while still allowing athletes to go and compete. U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said he’s unlikely to attend but didn’t support withdrawing athletes. Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to attend.
Olympic sponsors are eager to promote themselves in China, a market of 1.4 billion people. But strained geopolitical relations make it hard to court a nationalist Chinese market and the rest of the world. Chinese consumers have become more wary of foreign brands, and the price is high for companies seen as offending China’s national pride. There’s pressure from the U.S. too:
• At a hearing in July, members of a U.S. congressional panel urged corporations including Coca-Cola Co. and Visa Inc. to pull their sponsorship unless the event is moved out of China. Company representatives said they were still assessing how to approach the games, and noted that their advertising would focus on the athletes, not the location.
• Two U.S. lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban companies that sponsor or do business with the Beijing Olympics from selling products or services to the U.S. government or in federal buildings or installations, including military bases.
We assume the Games will go on, as scheduled. Let’s hope it doesn’t go through the drama of continued confusion of whether or not they will happen as the Summer Olympic Games story played out. The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will take place between February 4 to February 20. The Paralympic Winter Games will be held from March 4 to March 13.
View Original Source Source