(NEXSTAR) – Every athlete’s journey to the Olympics is grueling – a journey that has become even more difficult during a pandemic.
But a group of protesters are calling on athletes to boycott the Beijing games. Activists say China is guilty of genocide.
As the countdown to the Beijing Olympics ends in 100 days, pressure is mounting from activists.
âWe expect G7 governments to boycott the Winter Olympics,â said Zumretay Arkin of the Uyghur World Congress.
Activists disrupted the flame-lighting ceremony in Greece and accused the International Olympic Committee of granting, I quote … legitimacy to China’s human rights violations by allowing the games to continue.
âThis behavior is not only scandalous, it is immoral and criminal. It essentially helps – helps and encourages – the Beijing regime to carry out its propaganda and to cover up a sporting washout of its genocide, âsaid Pema Doma, director of the Campaigns of Students for a Free Tibet.
China has been internationally criticized for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims. Uyghur women have been sterilized and around one million Uyghurs have been sent to re-education camps or sent from their homes and families in the Xinjiang region to work in forced labor camps.
âThe human rights violations are appalling and we all think it really tears the fabric of humanity apart,â said Evan Bates, an ice dancer.
Ice dancers Bates and Madison Chock try to form their third Olympic team. In their sport, the Olympic Games are the ultimate step. While supporting the protesters’ cause, Bates says a boycott is not the answer.
âBoycotting the games would not be taking the opportunity to shed light on this subject. And we will answer the question and talk about the importance of coming together and supporting the Olympic movement, which is about unity and humanity and representing the best in sport, âsaid Bates.
Get the free WAVY News app, available for download in the App Store and google play, to stay up to date with all your local news, weather and sports, live TV news and other live events.