Inside Story

What will diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics achieve?

Canada joins Australia, the UK and the US in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics over China’s human rights record.

Sport and politics often mix wherever the Olympic Games are held. It will apparently be no different for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Despite China’s repeated denials of human rights violations and suppression of freedoms, the Chinese leadership is coming under increasing scrutiny.

Canada is joining the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia in a diplomatic boycott of the games.

Athletes from the four countries will still go to Beijing, but government representatives will not be there.

So far, other countries seem more reluctant to join in.

China is warning the four boycotting nations that they will “pay a price” for their “mistake”.

So what will the boycott achieve?

And are deeper political issues at play?

Presenter: Nick Clark


Victor Teo – Political scientist affiliated with the Cold War Project at the University of Cambridge

Ross Griffin – Middle East editor, International Journal of the History of Sports

Jules Boykoff – Chair of Pacific University’s Politics and Government Department and a former Olympic footballer