The Beijing Games start in a leaden mood

We made it this time! Some competitions have already started, and in little more than 24 hours will be the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics. They run until February 20, after weeks marked by concerns over Covid-19 and political tensions over diplomatic boycotts. including Switzerland. With a menacing Omicron variant and a muzzled freedom of expression, these Olympics were organized “by all means”, summarizes International mail. At all costs, in short.

That is why, no doubt, according to the very severe Suddeutsche Zeitung, run the risk of “turning into a farce”. Because “shadows hang over these Games. The Olympic bubble should be watertight, but it is only a matter of time before Omicron is invited” to the event, and “it is, therefore, chance that will decide the athletes in the dispute and on the podiums”. Munich diary!

“Not a normal state”

Another “important fact” that generates controversy, Beijing made it clear that any criticism “of the Olympic spirit, in particular Chinese laws and regulations, would be liable to criminal prosecution”. In short, “at the various locations, athletes will participate in competitions without being able to maintain direct contact, without spectators from all over the world, […]without being able to prove the Olympic spirit”, and – more generally – China is, moreover, “by no means a normal state, endowed with normal rules”, says the Slovenian newspaper Primorske Rookie and the Wiener Zeitung in articles viewed by Eurotopics.net:

China also promised a “clean” and “environmentally friendly” event. But the images seen in recent days prove that there are “almost 200 million liters of water [qui seront] swallowed to create artificial snow”, estimates the Dutch weekly From Volkskrant, based on numbers Guardian. Thus, we should not “lament the infinite whiteness of the snowy mountains which the skiers descended in high speed. The skating rinks that snowmen in chapkas crippled from the cold swept during competitions. […] Don’t give in to this false romanticism […] which made us believe that ice skating and skiing still had a connection to winter.”

The Games’ carbon footprint “is also questionable. If organizers are going to be climate neutral, they should come up with numbers, but they don’t give any,” he notes. The world. And so, if we consider things on a geostrategic level, these Olympics must offer “a reflection of a new anti-Western world of which Beijing is the heart”, assures the Corriere della will be: “The Russian leader will certainly respect the Olympic truce and refrain from carrying out military actions in Ukraine. If Europe and the United States can save time, they owe it to the Chinese calendar. the symbolic sign, [incarné depuis trois jours par le Tigre d’eau]that the center of the world is shifting elsewhere.”

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“When the truce ends, Putin knows that if the West hits him with sanctions, he can turn to China. China and Russia are in the process of creating an alternative financial system to the dollar. The use of the yuan continues to increase. […] Other countries, from Iran to Venezuela, have already shown their ability to limit the impact of US sanctions. international mail, again he sums it up:

“The question is whether the Olympic truce will be a factor in de-escalation in eastern Ukraine or whether advocates of a radical scenario will see it as an opportunity for armed action,” the Russian daily writes. Kommersant. “There are precedents: in 2008, Russians and Georgians faced each other during the Games… in Beijing, already. In 2014, it was shortly after the Sochi Winter Games that Russia annexed Crimea.

From 2008 to 2022

“Beijing is the first city to host the Winter Games after hosting the Summer Games. In 2008, China was not what it is today, analyzes the Guardian. At the time, the country wanted to be recognized on the international stage and if human rights defenders had already mobilized, the West wanted to believe in a peaceful rise to power. […] Fourteen years later, the cards have been redistributed: today, China wants to show that it can despise the United States “…

… And what better than the Games to show your power?

Bloomberg Business Week confirms: in one of its January 24 editions, the American economic magazine underlines the omnipotence of the Asian giant by placing President Xi Jinping on the first step of an Olympic podium, ahead of his American and German opponents.

But “Games are still Games! Covid or not, behind closed doors or not, snow or not, history will only remember Olympic titles and medals. Despite everything”, promises the special correspondent of Matin.ch. When his boss called him to ask if he wanted to go to Beijing, how could he refuse? And confess: “I didn’t hesitate much. Not even. The Olympics cannot be refused. As for an athlete, a “selection” for this event is an honor, a privilege”…

… So yes, my heart raced and I said yes. Like the first time. As always. Like a child. The Olympics, everybody dreams about it

This is also the opinion of Pierre Schouwey, of Freedom from Freiburg, who will cover the Games through the titles of Romandie Combi and who confessed, last Sunday at media forum of the RTS-La 1ère (from minute 29) reporting on the Olympics, it happened “once or twice in the career of a sports journalist”. Especially when Swiss athletes have a good chance of winning some medals, we understand that.

“About 3,000 athletes will compete in 109 events…” in the next few days, finally remember the channel Arte e the Chinese president (above). “Despite the pandemic, the moment is one of superlatives. […] Specifically, athletes participate in competitions, but official representatives stand aside as a sign of protest. At stake: human rights violations against Uighurs and Tibetans, the repression of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and threats against Taiwan.

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