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White House announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

The US will have its athletes in attendance, but not government officials.

A view outside the building of the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games on October 26, 2021 in Beijing, China. Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will take place this coming February in Beijing, China, but the US government will have no diplomatic presence. The White House announced on Monday that the US will not send President Joe Biden or any U.S. government official to the Winter Games “in a signal of displeasure over China’s human rights abuses.”

The displeasure surrounds human rights violations and concerns around democracy activists. The administration declared China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims a genocide in March and is unhappy with Beijing’s policies against democracy activists in Hong Kong.

While the US government will not attend, American athletes will still be competing. This is different than the US decision to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow when 60 other countries joined in the boycott. The US government did not allow its athletes to compete in those games, and four years later, the Soviet Union and 13 other nations boycotted the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. This time around the US government is supporting its competing athletes.