A man stands in front of a bas-relief of the Olympic Rings in a park in Beijing as the city prepares for the 2022 Olympics, in Beijing, China, December 7, 2021. REUTERS / Thomas Peter
December 8, 2021
SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says its government’s decision to join a US diplomatic boycott of next year’s Beijing Olympics will not affect preparations for the Games. winter.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would not send a government representative to the Chinese capital next February due to already strained diplomatic relations with Beijing.
The AOC said in a statement that it respects “diplomatic options” as matters of government and politics and sport should be kept separate.
“Our Australian athletes have been training and competing with this Olympic dream for four years now and we are doing everything in our power to make sure we can help them succeed,” said the executive director. executive Matt Carroll added.
“Getting the athletes to Beijing safely, competing safely and getting them home safely remains our biggest challenge.”
Morrison said the strained relationship with Beijing had prevented Australia from discussing China’s moves to slow and block Australian imports and allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. the reason behind the US boycott.
Carroll added: “Human rights are extremely important, but the view of diplomats is that keeping channels of communication open is far more impactful than shutting them down.
The AOC’s position should come as no surprise as it is run by President John Coates, a close ally of current International Olympic Committee (IOC) head Thomas Bach.
Coates was a leading supporter of the AOC’s decision to send a team to the 1980 Moscow Olympics in the face of opposition from the Australian government, who supported calls for a boycott.
The United States led 66 countries to withdraw their teams from the Moscow Olympics following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Editing by Peter Rutherford)
https://www.oann.com/olympics-australian-athletes-prepare-for-beijing-despite-diplomatic-boycott/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=olympics-australian-athletes-prepare-for-beijing-despite-diplomatic-boycott Australian athletes prepare for the Olympics to Beijing despite diplomatic boycott