There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the Beijing Olympics, many of which are much larger than the games themselves.
This is a nation who is actively involved in a literal genocide of Uyghur Muslims. This is a nation whose labor laws are dangerously relaxed for the sake of exploiting the human beings of the workforce. This is a nation who won’t take “no” for an answer in Hong Kong and Taiwan and Tibet.
This is China – human rights scourge of the planet – collecting whatever international accolades accompany the Olympic Games as if nothing was horrifically wrong in their country.
And now, like the pitted cherry atop a melted ice cream sundae, it appears as though they’re even cheating at the games themselves.
Controversy is shrouding the short-track speed-skating competition in Beijing just a few days into this year’s Winter Olympics.Trending:
Several questionable penalties in the sport have helped Chinese athletes advance or earn medals at the Games. And now, some are sounding alarm bells that bias among Olympic officials may be to blame.
Athletes were seemingly unafraid to speak up.
South Korea’s Kwak Yoon-gy spoke out after Saturday’s short-track speed-skating mixed team relay, which saw China survive a semifinal race only after the disqualification of the Russian Olympic Committee and the US — both of which finished ahead of the host nation. After a video review, the ROC earned a penalty for “causing obstruction,” while the US was docked for “blocking.”
China later won gold in the final.
“Looking at the way China won the gold medal, I felt bad that my younger teammates had to watch something like that,” Kwak said via the Yonhap news agency, per Reuters. “I thought to myself, ‘Is this really what winning a gold medal is all about?’ Things all just felt very hollow.”
And that wasn’t all:
A race stoppage — caused when a broken blade embedded in the ice — set the race on a bizarre path even before its chaotic conclusion. But in the end, the top of the podium came down to Hungary’s Shaolin Sandor Liu and China’s Ren Ziwei.Advertisement - story continues below
The two were neck and neck heading into the final turn, and each extended his legs in an attempt to narrowly edge the other while approaching the finish. Liu Shaolin tumbled to the ice and slid into the far wall as a result, but he appeared to cross the line mere milliseconds before Ren.
That’s when the review came into play. The Hungarian was assessed two penalties — one for a lane change that created contact with an opponent and another for using his left hand to obstruct Ren on the final turn. Though Ren retaliated by using both hands to grab Liu Shaolin and shove him down to the ice, he was not issued any punishment.
Perhaps Beijing’s Olympics are bound for the asterisk treatment after all.