Sports, political officials say Beijing Winter Olympics not political but stage of unity

Source:Xinhua 14-02-22 09:14 Updated BJT
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BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- As the ongoing Beijing Winter Olympics have deeply impressed the athletes and spectators, sports and political officials from many countries said that attempts to politicize the Olympic Games are doomed to fail.

They believe that the successful hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics reflects the spirit of unity and the common aspiration of mankind to pursue peace.


When speaking of sports, the whole world should focus on fair play, success, friendship, and togetherness, leaving aside all the politics, wars, and other negativities, said Atakan Alaftargil, president of the Turkish Ski Foundation.

Nathalie Pechalat, president of the French Federation of Ice Sports, said that athletes coming to Beijing from all over the world are like family members reunited for a winter sports gala widely participated in by all the people.

Sports have a very important influence on the future, Pechalat said, wishing it would link people of all countries.

Former Hungarian President Pal Schmitt appreciated the slogan of the Beijing Winter Olympics "Together for a Shared Future," saying that the Olympics are about peace rather than politics and can bring athletes together.

Schmitt, also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), stressed that people standing united towards the future is the most important thing.

Sherif El-Erian, secretary-general of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, said politicizing the Olympics is Cold War mentality. The modern Olympic Games have transcended such boundaries as country, skin color, ethnicity, religion, and ideology, and connected the whole world, he said, adding that the international sports exchanges represented by the Olympic Games have become a bridge of friendship between peoples and countries.


IOC Vice President Ng Ser Miang said politicizing the Olympics will lead to nowhere, but adversely impact athletes who have dedicated years or even their lifetime to the Games. He stressed his belief that the Olympics can build a bridge, not becoming a wall.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder shares a similar view. He said in an article that the real victims of politicizing the Olympics are the athletes who have long prepared for the Games, underling that any attempt to use the Winter Olympics to pressure China will fail.

Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, said that for centuries, sports have helped people of all nations come closer to each other and live in harmony. He stressed that using sports as a political weapon to place pressure on others runs counter to the spirit of the Olympic Charter and is unacceptable.


Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stressed that sports should stay out of politics. Noting that the slogan "Together for a Shared Future" reflects mankind's desire for peace, he said that the Beijing Winter Olympics were in line with the Olympic spirit.

"When we look at the Games, we believe this is an opportunity to unite the world, to speak of peace. And I believe that sport and politics don't mix," said Thabani Gonye, president of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.

He said countries should focus more on their athletes and give them opportunities to shine, instead of getting involved in extraneous issues which have nothing to do with sport.

In an article written by Kazuteru Saionji, consultant at the Japan-China Friendship Association (JCFA), and Akira Yagi, member of the JCFA, the Olympic Games are a sporting event of peace, friendship and solidarity.

The successful hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics is a victory for not only the Olympic spirit but also peace-loving people all over the world, they said.

According to Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based international relations scholar, sports can bridge the gap between different histories, civilizations and ideologies, and promote friendship among nations and solidarity among mankind.

Attempts to turn the Olympics into an arena of ideological and geopolitical competition run counter to the Olympic spirit and are unpopular, he said. 

Editor: zhangrui
14-02-22 09:14 BJT
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