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Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022

US announces diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

The potential for further diplomatic boycotts hangs over the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing weeks ahead of the opening ceremonies.
The United States on Monday said it would not be sending government officials to the Games in protest against ongoing human rights abuses in China, while the UK had earlier said it was considering such a move. Calls for other countries to do the same are growing louder.

There is a long tradition of boycotts and threats of boycotts at Olympic Games for political reasons. Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland, for example, did not participate in the 1956 Summer Games in Melbourne in protest against the invasion of Hungary by Warsaw Pact troops.

In the 1960s and 70s, sub-Saharan African countries repeatedly prevented the then-apartheid states of South Africa and Rhodesia from competing with threats of boycotts.

Following Russia's occupation of Afghanistan at the end of 1979, 42 countries boycotted the 1980 Games in Moscow. Russia and 19 other countries returned the favor four years later by staying away from the Los Angeles Games.

In 1988, North Korea sent no athletes to the Games in the South Korean capital of Seoul, with five other countries joining in. There were also calls to boycott the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing because of human rights violations in Tibet, but little actual action came from those appeals.
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