2022 Winter Olympics Begin in Beijing

Headline Roundup February 4th, 2022

The 2022 Winter Olympics began Friday in Beijing, China amid continued COVID-19 concerns and cross-spectrum criticism of the Chinese government. 

The Games will run from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20. Global political tensions and COVID-19 restrictions dominated the build-up to the Games, as several countries imposed diplomatic boycotts in protest of China's alleged abuse and oppression of the Uighur Muslim minority in the country's Xinjiang region. The U.S. is among those staging a diplomatic boycott of the Games, but American athletes are still competing. Ticket sales to the general public were canceled last month, making it the second consecutive Olympics to be closed to the public. 

Coverage from left- and center-rated sources often highlighted efforts to prevent COVID-19 from impacting events, as well as the events themselves and the results. Right-rated outlets covered the Olympics less prominently; some highlighted how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told athletes to avoid "incurring the anger of the Chinese government" with protests. Many right-rated voices, especially those at National Review (Right bias), were highly critical of China's record on human rights and role in the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the abuse of Uighurs and alleged cover-up of a lab leak that led to the COVID-19 pandemic; they typically urged people not to watch the Olympics this year and avoid buying into purported Chinese propaganda. One guest writer for New York Times Opinion (Left bias) said the Games are "already a win for Beijing" and will highlight "the party-state’s firm control."

From the Right

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) instructed U.S. athletes to not “speak out” against communist China’s human rights abuses during the Winter Olympics because it might make China angry.

“I would say to our athletes — you are there to compete,” Pelosi said in part during testimony before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless. I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there, I respect that. But, I...

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From the Left

In between hours of ice hockey practice and meals taken between plastic dividers, Samantha Kolowratová finds herself wandering the aisles of the sterile white athletes’ “mall.” 

Some hallways are lined with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, from where the glaring light of a KFC shines through. Still further there’s a salon where athletes can get free hairstyling, facials, and manicures. Here, the table dividers are gold-rimmed, and the white walls are painted with flourishes of gold and blue. A gift shop hosts shelves filled with souvenirs sitting under stark fluorescent lights.


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From the Center

The most divided Olympic Games in decades gets under way in China on Friday as Beijing becomes the only city to host both the Summer and now the Winter Games. As well as tight Covid-19 controls, the Games are fraught with political tensions over allegations of human rights abuses and boycotts.

Most of the snow on the slopes where the Olympic events will take place is man-made.

But inside an indoor rink where the icy climate is maintained by massive freezers at the side of the dome, six-year-old ice skater...

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