According to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, his organization cannot change a political system in a country. Bach said this ahead of an IOC conference, which began on Tuesday, and before the United States declared a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games. This means that no U.S. government official will visit China in February due to human rights concerns.
“The Olympics cannot solve problems that generations of politicians have not solved,” Bach told the DPA news agency.
China has come under heavy criticism, including from human rights groups, for its treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority and the crackdown in Hong Kong. The IOC has been accused of negligence for keeping silent on these issues and for choosing to host the Winter Games in China in any case. “Our responsibility is for the Games to run according to our ideas and bring together athletes from 206 countries, including a refugee team,” said the German, who said the Games are based on a number of core values . “No discrimination, freedom of the press, open internet and freedom of expression for athletes. But the IOC does not have the power and the resources to change political systems.”
Bach said issues such as human rights will be taken into account more categorically in the future awarding of the Games. He cited as an example the choice of Brisbane as the venue for the 2032 Summer Games in Australia.
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