Olympians shouldn’t be forced into ‘moral’ decision over Beijing games, says Mikaela Shiffrin

Human rights groups have urged the IOC to relocate the Games due to China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims

Ian Ransom
Wednesday 03 March 2021 11:26
Comments
<p></p>

Olympic champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin has said she should not have to choose between her “morals” and her “job” amid calls for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Human rights groups have urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take the Games out of China because of its treatment of Uighur Muslims and other human rights concerns. China denies human rights abuses.

Commenting on a possible boycott of the Beijing Games, American Shiffrin told CNN: “The Olympics is big, and it’s something that you shoot for, and you don’t want to miss it.

“And you certainly don’t want to be put in the position of having to choose between human rights, like morality versus being able to do your job, which on the other hand can bring light to some issues or can actually bring hope to the world at a very difficult time.”

Shiffrin, who won the giant slalom gold at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, said competing in countries accused of human rights abuses was “tough”.

“What’s a real bummer is that there’s not only accusations but, like, legitimate proof in a lot of these places we’ve been going the last several Olympics,” she said.

“One of the important things about the Olympics is that it is supposed to be a global event,” she added. “I do understand the importance of trying to stay true to that pledge, essentially. But it is tough, to be honest.”

The United States has not decided whether it will take part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, a White House spokesman said last week.

Shiffrin said the IOC needed to consider how athletes might be affected when choosing Games hosts.

“I doubt it’s an easy job, but it feels like there could be more consideration when you’re hosting an event that’s supposed to bring the world together and create hope and peace in a sense,” she said. “Some places seem more fitting than others.”

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in