The Beijing Winter Olympics officially start tomorrow (Friday February 4).
Olympics are usually an occasion for the host country to showcase its progress.
China is expected to do so as well despite the pandemic.
This year’s Winter Olympics, however, have become victims of international political rivalry.
Led by the US and its allies (UK, Australia, Canada etc), they have made much noise about their non-participation in the opening ceremony.
There is a tiny problem with this assertion.
For any world leader to attend, he/she must be invited by the host country.
President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a host of other western rulers were not invited.
You read that right. They were NOT invited.
The question of their boycotting the games, therefore, does not arise.
Their athletes will be there to compete.
A number of world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and a host of others will attend the opening ceremony.
It is likely to be a grand affair. The Chinese are good at putting up fantastic displays.
Given that Western rulers were not invited, there is every likelihood that their corporate media outlets will try to ignore or give a short shrift to the opening ceremony.
This is not likely to prevent people around the world from viewing it, thanks to the Internet and other social media outlets.
What the outcome of the games would be is hard to predict.
The Chinese are bound to do well even though they are likely to face stiff competition from some of the north European countries because they are strong in winter sports.
Regardless of the outcome, Olympics have become too politicized.
This goes against the very spirit of the games. They are meant to bring people together even if they compete with each other.
It is, however, becoming clear that the US has lost its clout and no longer counts as the most important player on the world stage.
This cannot be a bad thing.