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Jaimito
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Some games start today Feb 2 although opening ceremony is Feb 4.

 

Feb 3: Canadian mixed doubles curling, women's ice hockey tonight. 

 

 

The Canadian Press predicts 26 medals for Canada's team at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, with a breakdown of eight gold, eight silver and 10 bronze.

 

Canada won 29 (11 gold, 8 silver, 10 bronze) in Pyeongchang. 

https://www.tsn.ca/the-canadian-press-projects-26-medals-including-eight-gold-for-canada-in-beijing-1.1753421

 

 

More news on Vancouver bid for 2030 today.  It will be so cool to have team Canada play at home again.

 

https://www.tsn.ca/indigenous-led-bid-to-bring-2030-games-to-vancouver-and-whistler-takes-next-step-1.1753416

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Jaimito said:

Some games start today Feb 2 although opening ceremony is Feb 4.

 

Feb 3: Canadian mixed doubles curling, women's ice hockey tonight. 

I believe that's Feb 3rd Beijing time?  The Canada - Switzerland women's game is on CBC at 8pm Pacific Time tonight, Feb 2nd.

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9 hours ago, Ghostsof1915 said:

I think we have other priorities, like our healthcare, over having an Olympics again. 

thats a false argument tho, hosting a games has no impact on that at all. 

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1 hour ago, JM_ said:

thats a false argument tho, hosting a games has no impact on that at all. 

I agree. The tourism sector in BC had been devastated too. Will take years to get back. If they can do the games again with a good budget, which I think they can since all the major infrastructure and venues are already built, they can actually make money. Also get more federal dollars, perhaps upgrade the Canada line to support a larger population and ridership.

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7 minutes ago, Jaimito said:

I agree. The tourism sector in BC had been devastated too. Will take years to get back. If they can do the games again with a good budget, which I think they can since all the major infrastructure and venues are already built, they can actually make money. Also get more federal dollars, perhaps upgrade the Canada line to support a larger population and ridership.

its also great for BC First Nations. 

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Spoiler

Silence is golden? Olympic athletes’ freedom of speech muted by Games organizers

February 3, 2022 12.44pm EST

 

 

The International Olympic Committee has a demonstrated history of controlling athletes’ public statements, despite claiming that athletes are free to express their opinions in press conferences, in media interviews and on social media. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

 

Beyond the Olympic’s facade of glitz, glamour and gold there’s a glaring and controversial regulation — the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Rule 50. Rule 50 prohibits athletes from demonstrating during competition or on the podium.

 

Two years ago, IOC member Dick Pound stated that “athletes remain free to express their opinions in press conferences, in media interviews and on social media.” But the Athletes Declaration is clear — all Olympians must “comply with applicable national laws.”

 

This includes forgoing their right to freedom of speech and expression while in China because of the regime’s vague law against “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

With the 2022 Beijing Olympics looming, Pound has been assuring Olympic critics that “there is absolutely nothing wrong with China” as an Olympic host.

 

If Pound’s commentary leaves you with an unsettling sense of déjà vu, there’s a good reason for that. Addressing 205 national Olympic committees before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, IOC President Jacques Rogge downplayed threats to freedom of speech saying:

“A person’s ability to express his or her opinion is a basic human right and as such does not need to have a specific clause in the Olympic Charter because its place is implicit.”

In addition to restrictions imposed by the IOC and China, many active athletes are contractually bound by their Olympic federation’s code of ethics to refrain from making “adverse comments” on executive decisions.

China’s assault on athlete rights

Even if the IOC gave athletes the green light to protest, such actions would be ill-advised since China’s authoritarian regime is notorious for its arbitrary detentions.

The IOC’s silence suggests that it is aligning itself with China rather than championing Olympic athletes, while stifling growing criticism regarding its own hollow commitments to human rights.

 

Dutch officials recently advised athletes to leave personal electronic devices at home and use only team-provided cell phones in order to avoid Chinese espionage.

 

Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy recently determined that an application all athletes are required to download for submitting health and customs information has a “devastating flaw where encryption protecting users’ voice audio and file transfers can be trivially sidestepped.”

 

On the same day the security flaw was revealed, Beijing Organizing Committee official Yang Shu explained that athletes could indeed be punished for political statements to journalists and on social media.

 

In fact, the committee will have departments dedicated to monitoring Olympians’ speech for the duration of the Games.

 

A woman wearing a medical face mask holding a sign that says 'Save Tibet: Boycott Beijing 2022.'
Protesters and activists gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Jan. 4 to protest against the Beijing Olympic Games and call on Germany to diplomatically boycott the Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

 

But there’s a lot for athletes to comment on — from the obvious attempt of Chinese authorities to subvert their freedom of speech to the well-documented human rights abuses unfolding against Tibetans, Uyghurs, Southern Mongolians and Hong Kongers and the all-too-common persecution of human rights defenders.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission

The IOC Athletes’ Commission is a group of retired athletes whose stated purpose is to ensure that athletes’ viewpoints are “at the heart of Olympic movement decisions.”

 

The effectiveness of the Athletes’ Commission is limited at best. As R.A., an anonymous commission member explained, many members have experienced powerlessness at the hands of international federations and are unlikely to “rock the boat,” while others “don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them.”

 

Whether Athletes’ Commission members are free to express their views is also an open question.

 

In early 2020, as the world dealt with COVID-19, some athletes challenged the IOC’s plans to host Tokyo 2020 in August. Canadian Athletes’ Commission member Hayley Wickenheiser called for postponement. The IOC promptly sent her a personal message saying it was “a pity” that she spoke out without asking them first.

 

A man wearing glasses sitting in front of a teal background
Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, at a news conference in Munich, Germany in 2016. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

 

Her rebuttal: “I didn’t know free speech had to go through the IOC.”

 

Clearly, the IOC wants to control athletes’ public statements. When R.A. was about to publish a critical article in an Olympic magazine, they were subjected to an unsuccessful attempt at censorship by a senior IOC member. He phoned R.A.’s private number to persuade them to tone down the article, and followed up by emailing a document that he thought would demonstrate that the critique was flawed.

Solidarity: Athlete advocacy groups fight back

The Olympic industry may not enjoy its privileges for much longer. Athlete advocacy groups and athlete unions — like the World Players AssociationAthleten DeutchlandGlobal Athlete and others — have been mobilizing to protect athletes’ rights, with some notable successes.

 

The IOC has been the target of global criticism, inside and outside of sport, because of its recent selection of three host cities under authoritarian regimes — Beijing in 2008 and 2022, and Sochi in 2014 — with full knowledge of the human rights violations perpetuated by these governments.

 

Since Olympic industry propaganda relies on winning hearts and minds, can it survive the damage to its brand that the protests of athletes and activists are generating?

 

https://theconversation.com/silence-is-golden-olympic-athletes-freedom-of-speech-muted-by-games-organizers-175582

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Spoiler

Human rights issues remain at forefront of Beijing Olympics

New rules come into force in 2024 on host cities adhering to business, human rights

Stephen Wade · The Associated Press · Posted: Feb 03, 2022 4:09 AM ET | Last Updated: February 3
 
uighur-protest.jpg
Members of the Muslim Uyghurs minority demonstrate in Istanbul in February 2021. The 2022 Winter Olympics open Friday under heavy security and warnings from officials that athletes or others could face legal action if they speak out on human rights issues. (Yasin Akgul/AFP via Getty Images)
 
 
 

Beijing was awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics, largely under the assumption that the Games would improve civil liberties in the country.

 

There is no such talk now. The 2022 Winter Olympics open Friday under heavy security and warnings from officials that athletes or others could face legal action if they speak out on human rights or other touchy issues.
 

The Games are a reminder of both China's rise and its disregard for civil liberties, which has prompted a diplomatic boycott led by the United States.

 

Rights groups have documented forced labour, mass detentions and torture, and the U.S. has called China's internment of at least 1 million Uyghurs genocide. China has also come under criticism over the near-disappearance from public view of tennis star Peng Shuai after she accused a former senior member of the ruling Communist Party of sexually assaulting her.

 

 

But with more political, economic and military clout than it had 13 years ago, China appears to be worrying less about global scrutiny this time. And the COVID-19 pandemic has given it even more control over the Olympics, particularly with the isolation of visiting journalists, separated in a "bubble" from the Chinese population.

 

WATCH | Human rights activists want Beijing 2022 to bring attention to plight of Uyghurs:

 
olympics-uyghurs-arsenault-010222.jpg?cr
 

Human rights activists want Beijing 2022 to bring attention to plight of Uyghurs

2 days ago
Duration3:37
Human rights activists see the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics as a fleeting opportunity to bring worldwide attention to China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims. 3:37

 

 

"There's nothing to 'prove' at this point; 2008 was a 'coming out' party and all this one does is confirm what we've known for the last decade," Amanda Shuman, a China researcher at the University of Freiburg, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

 

"If anything, there's a lot less pressure than 2008," she said. "The Chinese government knows full well that its global economic upper hand allows it to do whatever it wishes."

 

 

uyghur-activists.jpg
Tibetan and Uyghur activists hold placards and wear masks during a protest against the 2022 Winter Games in front of the Olympics Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2021. Rights groups have documented forced labour, mass detentions and torture, and the U.S. has called China's internment of at least 1 million Uyghurs genocide. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

 

China's 'fake smile'

The International Olympic Committee had few options when it awarded China the Games for the second time. Six possible European candidates, led by Norway and Sweden, bowed out for political or cost reasons. Voters in two other countries — Switzerland and Germany — voted no in referendums.

 

IOC members eventually picked Beijing — an authoritarian state that doesn't need voter approval to proceed — over Almaty, Kazakhstan, in a close vote, 44-40.

 

thomas-bach-beijing.jpg
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach reveals the card with Beijing as the winning name of the 2022 Winter Olympic bid city during the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur in 2015. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP via Getty Images)

 

The IOC has allowed China to avoid human rights oversight. Beginning with the 2024 Paris Olympics, host cities must adhere to the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. But China was not subject to those rules when it was picked in 2015.

 

"When China hosts the Olympics again, it is no longer the China back in 2008," dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said in an email to The AP. Ai helped design the famous Bird's Nest stadium that was used in the 2008 Games — hoping it would signify a new openness — and then regretted doing so, calling it and the Olympics China's "fake smile."

 

Ai was jailed in 2011 in China on unspecified charges and now lives in exile in Portugal. The Bird's Nest will again host the opening ceremony.

 

"China today has deviated further away from democracy, freedom of press and human rights, and the reality has become even harsher," Ai added.

 

WATCH | Ai Weiwei on the power of art — and why authoritarians fear it:

 
thumbnailcliptwo.jpg?crop=1.777xh:h;*,*&
 

Ai Weiwei on the power of art — and why authoritarians fear it

3 months ago
Duration1:51
Contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei says he and his father, poet Ai Qing, committed the same crime: the "subversion of state power." 1:51

 

Xi Jinping's Games

China's tone has toughened since the last time it hosted the Games.

 

In 2008, Beijing put some curbs on broadcasting from Tiananmen Square but allowed it; agreed to "protest zones," though they were never used, with access repeatedly denied; and dropped some reporting restrictions more than a year ahead of the Games. It also unblocked its censored internet for journalists.

 

In 2022, there is less accommodation. The pandemic will limit journalists to a tightly sealed "bubble," though there is internet access. Chinese organizers have warned foreign athletes that any statement that goes against Chinese law could be punished. And a smartphone app widely used by athletes and reporters has glaring security vulnerabilities, according to an internet watchdog.

 

 
beijing-bubble.jpg
Workers use zip ties to lock up a fence to help create a "bubble" surrounding the Beijing Olympic Park on January 4 in Beijing. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Some national Olympic committees have advised teams and staff not to take personal phones or laptops to Beijing.

 

The IOC, which generates billions from sponsorships and broadcast rights, seldom pushes back in public against Chinese organizers who are, in reality, the Chinese government.

 

Some of the changes that affect 2022 began a month after the 2008 Olympics ended, when the global financial crisis hit. China fared better than most countries, which increased its confidence.

China has since seen the rise of Xi Jinping, who headed the 2008 Olympics and was named general secretary of the Communist Party in 2012.

 

"Although Xi was in charge of 2008 Olympic Games, the Winter Games is truly Xi's Games," said Xu Guoqi, who teaches history at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of "Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008."

 

 
thomas-bach-and-xi-jinping.jpg
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the IOC gala dinner on the eve of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. (Andrej Isakovic/Getty Images)

 

Mary Gallagher, who teaches Chinese studies at the University of Michigan, said the state of U.S. democracy and its "poor pandemic response" have further emboldened China.

 

"Right now the multiple U.S. failures create momentum for renewed nationalism and confidence in China," Gallagher said by email. "This is made all the more effective by the Communist Party's strict control over information, which can rain `positive energy' down on what's happening in China while only publicizing negative accounts of other countries, especially the U.S."

 

Sports and politics

 

China complained in 2008 that human rights protests around Tibet politicized the Olympics. The Olympic Torch Relay, taken on a world tour, faced violent protests in London and elsewhere. The IOC has not tried such a relay since.

 

China, which has called the allegations of human rights abuses the "lie of the century," says mixing sports and politics goes against the Olympic Charter. IOC President Thomas Bach has likewise used that principle as a shield against critics.

 

But others see hypocrisy on China's part.

 

"Sports and politics do mix," Laura Luehrmann, a China specialist at Wright State University, said in an email. "Politics is about the distribution and use of limited resources — most notably power and decision-making, but also finances as well. Sports is all about power and money — even if framed as glorifying athletic achievement."

 

 

Victor Cha, who served in the White House under President George W. Bush and is the author of "Beyond the Final Score — The Politics of Sport in Asia," said China's moaning about others politicizing sports is "the pot calling the kettle black."

 

"There is no country that has ignored the Olympic Charter's mandate to keep politics out of sports more than China," Cha, who teaches at Georgetown University, wrote in an essay last week for the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

 

"Much as the world would like the Olympics to be devoid of politics, as George Orwell once wrote: `Sport is war minus the shooting.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/winter/beijing-2022-olympics-human-rights-major-issue-1.6337730

 

Quote

"There's nothing to 'prove' at this point; 2008 was a 'coming out' party and all this one does is confirm what we've known for the last decade," Amanda Shuman, a China researcher at the University of Freiburg, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

 

"If anything, there's a lot less pressure than 2008," she said. "The Chinese government knows full well that its global economic upper hand allows it to do whatever it wishes."

 

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Quote

Nearly half of Canadians will not watch Beijing Winter Olympics, survey suggests

Results also suggest 66 per cent of British Columbians surveyed are in favour of a full boycott

Winston Szeto · CBC News · Posted: Feb 03, 2022 9:34 PM PT | Last Updated: February 3
 
beijing-olympic-national-sliding-center.
The National Sliding Centre in the Yanqing district of Beijing, China, one of the sites of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Almost half of Canadians say they won't be watching the Games due to China's human rights record, an online survey suggests. (Jean-Francois Bisson/Radio-Canada)
 
 

Nearly half of Canadians say they won't be watching the Beijing Winter Olympic games, a recent survey suggests. 

 

According to results of an online survey by the Vancouver, B.C.-based consultancy Research Co., 47 per cent of 1,000 respondents across Canada say they will make a conscious effort to refrain from watching the sporting event — up two points from results from a similar survey conducted in December 2021. 

 

Fifty-nine per cent of respondents say they think Canada should boycott the Games over China's human rights record.

 

The results also suggest that 66 per cent of British Columbians surveyed are in favour of a full boycott.

 

Research Co. president Mario Canseco says the surveys — which were also conducted by the consultancy in March and August last year — have consistently suggested that a fairly high percentage of Canadians are not in favour of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

 

He says this is partially because of China's detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 — and that many Canadians' views of China have not changed, even after the two Michaels' release last September.

 

"The level of animosity towards China as the host country has not budged over the past few months," Canseco said on Daybreak Kamloops.

 

two-michaels.jpg
A protester holds a sign bearing photographs of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor outside B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 21, 2020. Research Co. president Mario Canseco says survey results suggest Canadians' views on China have not budged, even after the two Michaels' release last September. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

 

The survey was conducted from Jan. 21 to 23, with data statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Human rights issues in China — and Canada

Olympic gold medallist and former B.C. senator Nancy Greene Raine says despite the survey results, she doesn't believe many Canadians will stop watching the Winter Olympic Games simply because of China's human rights issues.

 

"There are always going to be political aspects to the games, but I think once the games get started, people [will] watch the athletes. They [will] get swept up in it," the alpine skier said on Daybreak Kamloops.

 

"We need something positive like the Winter Olympics right now."

 

Last month, Canada announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics — meaning no federal government officials will attend the event — citing China's atrocities on Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

 

Greene Raine says Canada shouldn't boycott China on human rights issues, because the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 could also have been subject to boycott due to Canada's dark history of racism against Indigenous communities.

 

But she says solutions lie with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the way they select hosts for the games.

 

"Maybe they should have something in their values that says we won't award the games to countries that practice blatant human rights violations," she said.

 

She also says athletes should be allowed to freely express themselves on human rights issues, including through acts like the crescent-shaped hand gesture some advocates suggest.

 

"Every athlete is going to have to make their own decision," Greene Raine said. "Certainly they will get into trouble and it'll probably cost them, you never know. But you've got to ask the bigger question: Why does the IOC go along with not chastising countries for human rights abuses?"

 

When the IOC picked Beijing as the Winter Olympic Games site in 2015, it didn't require China to adhere to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which has become a rule for host countries of Olympic Games in 2024 and onward.

 

 
senator-nancy-greene-raine.jpg
Olympic alpine skier and former senator Nancy Greene Raine, pictured here in 2010. Greene Raine says if Canadians want to show they care about human rights, they should work to eliminate racism against Indigenous people. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

 

Greene Raine says if Canadians want to show they care about human rights, they should work to eliminate  discrimination against First Nations.

 

"I always turn back to a thought that we should think globally but act locally," she said. "The biggest thing we can do as Canadians now is [to] put yourself in the shoes of Indigenous people who suffered over the years, and heal and really bring forward the process of truth and reconciliation."

 

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/beijing-winter-olympic-games-boycott-research-co-survey-1.6339061

 

Contrary to Ms. Greene Raine's thoughts on the Winter Games being something positive, there's nothing positive about having these games in China, particularly the fact that it's increasing the international profile - and thus legitimacy of the actions, including those of trampling of human rights - of the ccp.

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