The dictatorships that tarnished the excitement of the Beijing Olympics.
Article on February 22nd,2022 By Hideyo Fudesaka （Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1948. Former member of the House of Councillors and political commentator. Author of “The Japanese Communist Party” and co-author of “Why the LDP Will Not Crumble: How to Read Gekidōshō Seiji,” “The House of Councilors Is Unnecessary,” “We Are Allies of the Japanese Communist Party,” and “Donzoko no Ryugi”.
On February 20, the Beijing Olympics came to a close. Japan won a record 18 medals. I would like to commend both the athletes who won medals and those who narrowly missed out.
I was very impressed by the way the young Japanese athletes did their best with their small bodies. I was most pleased with Ayumu Hirano’s gold medal. He had won silver in both of the previous two Olympics. In the last Olympics in Pyeongchang, I, for example, thought she was better than Shaun White, but she got a silver. Ryoyu Kobayashi, who may have been nervous, but jumped as if he had won the gold lightly with a cool face, also made me groan.
I also enjoyed watching the women’s curling team, Rocco Solare, in action. Anyway, the exchanges were interesting. “Nice! Well done!” “Okay! Let’s add pressure to the other teams! “ I was more interested in the exchange than the game. The laughter and tears really made me feel good.
Japanese athletes were strong in all events, including figure skating, Nordic combined, and speed skating. Miho Takagi won one gold and three silvers; at the 2006 Torino Olympics, the only medal was a gold medal by Shizuka Arakawa, a female figure skater. Those of us who were born just after the end of World War II are intimidated when confronted by large white men, but today’s Japanese youth are small but imposing. It is a great thing.
It was hardly a “festival of peace.
IOC (International Olympic Committee) President Thomas Bach said at the closing ceremony, “The forces that unite us at the Olympics are stronger than the forces that seek to divide us. You have brought us a peaceful opportunity,” but was that really the case?
Human rights abuses in China are not limited to the Uyghur Autonomous Region, where genocide (mass murder) was committed. There have been repeated human rights violations in Tibet and in Hong Kong as well. Everyone in the world knows this. President Bach has lifted China to the heavens, but it is the host country, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin who have ruined the “Festival of Peace. And it was Chairman Bach who was beholden to them.
Russia is not eligible to participate as a nation because it was discovered that, under the supervision of the Russian Sports Ministry, Russian athletes had collectively cheated on doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi by switching specimens so that the use of banned substances by Russian athletes would not be discovered. The issue was discussed. The IOC has allowed a loophole in the name “OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia)” in Pyeongchang and “ROC (Russian Olympic Committee)” in the summer Olympics in Tokyo and Beijing.
Despite this, President Putin attended the opening ceremony on February 4 and even met with President Xi Jinping. He was treated as a state guest. It would be unthinkable for a head of state from a country that does not recognize its participation in the Olympics to attend the Olympics in such a dignified manner. But Mr. Bach has nothing to complain about.
Putin is preparing to invade Ukraine, and more than 190,000 Russian troops are surrounding the country. Even immediately after the Sochi Olympics, Russia took the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. China has also repeatedly committed illegal acts to extort the Senkaku Islands from Japan.
An Olympics in which China and Russia participate cannot possibly be a “festival of peace.
Another Doping Problem by Russia
Russian female figure competitor Kamila Valieva’s doping allegations have become a major issue. I am frankly surprised that this is the case after all. It all started when a sample of Valieva’s body fluid was taken at the Russian Championships last December (2021) and tested by a laboratory in Stockholm and found to contain a banned substance. In response to these results, the Russian anti-doping agency provisionally suspended Valieva’s athletic eligibility, but quickly withdrew the suspension after receiving protests from the athletes’ side. It is a kind of a race within Russia. It is common knowledge that the anti-doping agency is not functioning in Russia. That is why the tests were conducted by the Stockholm laboratory.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) should have immediately ruled that Valieva was not allowed to compete at this point. For some reason, however, the decision was referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The IOC should have refused to allow Valieva to compete, and then Valieva would have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which was the wrong thing to do in the first place. The reason is that the “T” is the name of the event. Perhaps it was Russian pressure, or perhaps it was the IOC’s intention to allow the flamboyant Valieva to compete.
As the IOC assumed, CAS allowed her to continue to compete in the Olympics. The reason for this was that the athlete was 15 years old, which was the “person in need of protection” under the age of 16 as defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). WADA criticized this, saying that this was not the intent of the regulation and that allowing this would mean that anyone under the age of 16 would be allowed to dope. This is not surprising. The CAS ruling can only be based on a perversion of the regulation.
Holding the event in China and Russia’s participation was a mistake.
The IOC is also responsible for allowing Russia to do these things. The ROC should never have been allowed to participate in the first place.
The Putin administration has no sense of human rights whatsoever. The pep rally for the Russian athletes was televised on TV, with President Putin in attendance, and Valieva was made to express her determination to “do her best for the nation.
Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), criticized the Beijing Olympics as a “catastrophic failure” in the fight against drug violations.
Not a few European athletes told media interviews, “I will not speak out in China. I have to ensure my own safety, and there are still athletes from my country,” they said. And Nils Van der Pool of Sweden, the two-time men’s speed skating champion, told a local newspaper after returning home that It is extremely irresponsible to give the right to host the Olympics to a country that is a clear violator of human rights. This is a legitimate opinion.
IOC Mr. Bach getting worse and worse
Bach’s words and actions have drawn much criticism at the Tokyo Olympics, but what this man is doing is getting worse. He had repeated contacts with the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuang, and even watched skiing together at the Olympics. What is the reason for this? Is he trying to say that China is a country that protects human rights? This is not the IOC’s job by any stretch of the imagination. It is a blatant attempt to sow the seeds for Xi Jinping.
When Valieva, who is suspected of doping, finished her performance, her coach Eteri Tutvelidze asked her, “Why did you give up? He was shown on television being reprimanded, “Explain it to me. In response, President Bach said, “There was a cold response. Instead of acting to comfort and help her, I felt a cold atmosphere. The body language also seemed to reject her. I wondered how she could be so cold,” he criticized. He is irresponsible to no end. Mr. Bach was one of the parties who gave Valieva a hard time.
There is a movement to raise the age of participation in figure skating from 15 to 17, but this will not eliminate doping. It is important to expose state-sponsored wrongdoing.
The Sankei Shimbun’s “Sankei Sho” column dated February 20 had the following to say. It seems that the god of the ice rink is a cynic. The bronze medalist, Kaori Sakamoto, and the fifth-place finisher, Shinba Higuchi, had big smiles on their faces, while the gold and silver medalists, the Russians, had shadows of sorrow on their profiles. There are things that medals cannot redeem. I am relieved that it was the two Japanese athletes who taught me that. I definitely agree.