The Beijing Winter Olympics are halfway over, and international doubts are increasing.
China Youth Daily’s former senior sports reporter Guo Jun from the United States said on Feb. 8 that the Chinese regime is using sports to maintain the stability of its authority.
First, the Chinese regime bought the rights to host the Beijing Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Jiang Zemin’s bid to host the 1992 Olympics was unsuccessful, so he bribed the International Olympic Committee members before hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Guo Jun said, “Our newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Chen Xiaochuan, is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. He knows what the project is. He said we would apply to the Olympic Games, invite the members of the Olympic Committee, eat well, drink well, have fun, and eventually, someone would send some porcelain from the Song dynasty.”
According to Chinese media Da Ji Yuan, Guo Jun said, “After the Winter Olympics were held in China, it went on to bribe the judges.”
The referee turmoil continues
A Chinese figure skating judge, Huang Feng, serves on a technical judging panel at the Beijing Winter Olympics after being banned for unfairly favoring his own country’s athletes. However, the news that Huang Feng was returning to the Winter Olympics caused an outcry.
Huang Feng was banned for a year by the International Skating Union (ISU) for scoring his country’s skaters higher and bringing down others at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February 2018. A month before the Winter Olympics, the ISU issued a warning to Huang Feng.
The most controversial is the scoring evaluation standard and even the unfairness of the referee. For example, the popular Japanese athlete Sara Takanashi was judged to have clothing violations after the first jump, and her result was canceled. Besides, five female ski jumpers from Germany, Austria, Norway, and Japan were all disqualified from the competition when officials determined that their ski suits did not comply with Ski Federation’s (FIS) guidelines.
In response to the decision, Per Grunge, the German ski jumping team coach, said, “It is just strange that they have been using the same suits yesterday, and there was no problem.”
As The New York Times reported on Feb. 7, the skaters Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo were disqualified in the 1,000-meter semifinals on Monday evening. According to the referees, Hwang won his semifinal with an audacious pass of two Chinese skaters but was disqualified because his pass was late and caused contact. The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee said it would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Per Global News, some viewers saw 28-year-old Chinese star Fan Kexin reach over the leg of another competitor and flick a track marker toward the left of Canadian skater Alyson Charles, 23. On Monday, Feb. 7, the incident happened during the Olympic women’s 500-meter short-track speedskating quarterfinals. Kexin’s dirty trick was later seen on Twitter.
Ren Ziwei of China pushed Hungary’s Liu Shaolin during the group A final of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the men’s 1,000-meter short track speed skating final at the Capital Stadium in Beijing, on Feb. 7, 2022.
Naturalized Winter Olympics athletes playing for China
Among the athletes sent by the Chinese regime to the Beijing Winter Olympics are many foreign athletes (so-called “naturalized athletes”).
For example, figures made public by the mainland media show that China’s men’s and women’s ice hockey team has a total of 48 players with 28 naturalized athletes. The men’s team has 25 players, of which 15 are naturalized athletes. The women’s team has 23 players, including 13 naturalized athletes.
When describing the naturalized players of the hockey team, the Chinese regime emphasized “their Chinese ancestors.” Still, Guo Jun said that the Chinese regime’s recruitment of foreign athletes is not an issue of ancestors but a way for the regime to deceive the world.
Professional hockey in China is mainly typical of the northeast. But, the hockey team in the northeast has collapsed because neither companies nor local authorities had given any financial support. Therefore, the Chinese regime recruits naturalized players and, at the same time, has to have some Chinese players. However, some of those Chinese players may not be able to score.
Guo Jun said: “The Communist Party uses foreign players to achieve its political goals. If it is achieved, then, of course, it is said to be ‘this country is strong, the people are prosperous and strong, and the level of sports has risen.'”
Liu Jianhong, a famous Chinese football commentator, said in the mainland media that naturalized players are the guarantee of winning the prize.
Although these foreign athletes are known as “naturalized players,” their nationality is unclear. Chinese official media announced that freestyle skier Eileen Gu renounced her U.S. citizenship after becoming a Chinese citizen at 15, but Gu has not personally confirmed this. She did not directly answer questions about her nationality during the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The U.S. media has repeatedly asked about her nationality, as she was born in the U.S. but competed for China. As usatoday.com reported on Feb. 8, she then answered, “I definitely feel as though I’m just as American as I am Chinese,” adding, “I’m American when I’m in the U.S. and Chinese when I’m in China, and I’ve been outspoken about my gratitude to both the U.S. and China for making me the person that I am.”
As pandaily.com reported on Feb. 7, she also designed her coat and skis with dragons to show the world Chinese culture.
The website VICE News said in an article on the opening day of the Beijing Winter Olympics (Feb. 4) that China had a lot more “foreign aid” at this Olympics than at any previous Olympics. The International Olympic Committee requires athletes to be citizens of the country they represent, but it is unclear how many of China’s naturalized athletes have acquired Chinese citizenship.
The article said that most naturalized athletes, including Eileen Gu, do not publicly state whether they have renounced their original nationality.
Another concern for these naturalized athletes is that they received wildly different public opinion treatment because of the various competing results. For example, freestyle athlete Eileen Gu, who won the gold medal, was widely praised, while mainland netizens blamed female figure skater Zhu Yi for her mistake.
Veteran news commentator Tang Jingyuan said that the Chinese regime recruits foreign athletes to help the regime’s team win more medals or even gold. Therefore, it is a tool for the Chinese regime’s political propaganda.
Tang Jingyuan said that the Chinese regime’s long-term brainwashing created a highly politicized mindset among mainland people. As a result, they did not see Zhu Yi as an athlete who worked hard and as a person but as an unqualified political tool.
Tang Jingyuan added that behind the regime’s incitement to national sentiment is actually the process of highly politicizing sports competitions and systematic politicization based on the regimes’ actions.
According to Tang, the root reason for the Chinese regime’s pursuit of “gold medals” is the result of its highly politicized sports competition, and the regime forced all sports to get good results to contribute to its image as “the rise of a great power.” This method, of course, goes against the spirit of sport.
Tang Jingyuan said the Chinese team was not participating in the competition but completing a political task assigned by the government.