It’s been well documented that the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games are taking place in a particular corner of a repressive, dystopian country that has no business hosting a prestigious international event.
As the home of a tyrannical communist regime, and in an area that gets little snowfall in a given year, Beijing has neither the human rights environment nor the natural environment that would make it an appropriate venue for the Games.
That point hasn’t necessarily been hammered home by the media in its coverage, but it’s been chronicled if you know where to look for it. (Here at The Western Journal, we’re here to remind you of what NBC won’t when it comes to the Games — and you can help us bring America the truth by subscribing.)
However, sometimes China itself can’t help but show how ill-conceived the idea of hosting the games in Beijing was. Enter the big air course for skiers and snowboarders, which isn’t quite what comes to mind when you think about the Winter Olympics:
Who’s idea was it to have the olympics in this dystopian nightmare of a country? Fitting for the times we are in. pic.twitter.com/4W7pjEOHcz
— Evan McDermod 🧙♂️🌻 (@evan_mcdermod) February 7, 2022
No, this isn’t a Photoshop job or a screenshot of a Playstation game. Instead, according to The Associated Press, it’s Big Air Shougang, an Olympic venue built on the site of a closed steel mill on the host city’s west side.
“Big air” — in which skiers and snowboarders launch themselves off a jump and earn points for the difficulty of the acrobatics they perform and the precision with which they perform them — is one of the Games’ newest disciplines.
‘@TeamUSA‘s Alexander Hall really said 🔁🔁🔁🔁🔁.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 7, 2022
It’s also taking place in one of its more, um, unusual venues, which looks as if it were plopped down in front of a sepia-toned version of the Springfield Nuclear Facility from “The Simpsons.” (That comparison feels particularly apt given that the Games are taking place in a country that approximates what it would be like if Montgomery Burns was given total control over a nation state of 1.4 billion people.)
The AP’s Jake Seiner, who’s either taking objectivity way too far or wants to forestall the possibility of getting kicked out of the country, called it “a stunning backdrop for one of the Games’ newest sports” in a Monday report.
Also complimentary of the venue was American freestyle skier Alex Hall, seen in the clip above. However, if it weren’t for China’s ultra-strict rules regarding possession of controlled substances and random drug testing, one might have speculated Hall was in a somewhat altered state when Seiner talked to him.
“The like, crazy smokestack things in the back are pretty cool,” he told the AP. “You get to see some of the mountains in the background, you got this temple here, the city’s that way, the steel factory. You get to see a lot of stuff.”
You can almost hear the low rumble of bong-water in the background as he proffered that quote.
The AP wasn’t the only wire service trying to put a happy face on this mess. Take Reuters’ coverage, penned by Krystal Hu and Martin Quin Pollard, and again tinged with a “please don’t cancel my visa” vibe:
“Inspired or dystopian, Beijing’s Big Air venue sparks social media debate.”
Hu and Pollard couldn’t really find a “social media debate,” however. The two missives from Twitter they cited were both fairly unambiguous about the fact the venue wasn’t exactly Lake Placid:
Feels pretty dystopian to have some kind of nuclear facility as the backdrop for this Big Air skiing event 🥴 pic.twitter.com/l0nIvgX5Pv
— Lindsay (@LindsayMpls) February 7, 2022
To balance this out, they quoted three big air athletes, all of whom are currently in the dystopia and would presumably like to be able to exit freely. They also cited “users on China’s popular Little Red Book social media app,” one of whom said, “It’s really cool, super cyberpunk.”
For most people tuning in to watch the Winter Olympics — who presumably aren’t expecting an adaptation of a William Gibson novel — that’s a bug, not a feature.
— Lamond Murray (@realrun73) February 8, 2022
Reuters noted the venue was “chosen to represent sustainability by turning an industrial area into one for cultural and leisure use,” although “[s]ome viewers, accustomed to seeing snow-capped mountains and forests, were taken aback by the site of cooling towers.” Yes, one might say that.
The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles, however, made a good point about the general vibe of these Olympics:
What monster would spoil a perfectly good nuclear reactor with the stupid Olympics? pic.twitter.com/CrEAxaBDY5
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) February 8, 2022
These Games are a propaganda tool put on by a nation where automated oppression not even George Orwell could have conceived of is the daily norm, and the charnel house of Xinjiang province, where the slow-motion genocide of the Uyghur people continues apace, is just 1,500 miles to the west.
Go 650 miles to the south and you’ll be in Wuhan, origin of a global pandemic two years old now. We’re no closer to answers on how it started — thanks mostly to Chinese authorities wholly unwilling to be honest when it comes to COVID.
Into the Zone: @TeamUSA touches down in Beijing for the Winter Olympics… entering a surreal bubble of biohazard suits, barricaded hotels, and #China’s rigid zero-COVID rules. Our latest for @NBCNightlyNews @NBCNews https://t.co/IKFrvPqJjE
— Janis Mackey Frayer (@janisfrayer) January 30, 2022
Meanwhile, the Games are locked down thanks to what NBC News described as “China’s rigid zero-COVID rules.”
That results in grim tales of isolation for athletes in rooms too small to exercise in and food too vile to eat, as the U.K.’s Daily Mail noted. It’s a miserable Olympiad awarded to a wretched regime and made worse by a pandemic the hosts bear some responsibility for.
These smokestacks may not be the ideal image that the Chinese Communist Party wants you to take away from the Olympic Games. They sum the whole charade up perfectly, however.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.