— Published 2 April 2021

First pre-Olympic events

The health crisis and calls for a boycott do not change anything: the Chinese organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games are moving forward without looking back. With less than 11 months to go, they launched their first pre-Olympic event this week. These “test-events” should last ten days and involve five competition venues, in ice hockey, speed skating and curling. But, expected announcement, participation is strictly Chinese due to travel restrictions related to COVID-19. Local media will be able to cover pre-Olympic events on-site, but their access to athletes will remain very distant, with a thick plastic wall separating them from competitors in mixed areas. At the same time, the anti-Beijing 2022 mobilisation continues around the world. On Thursday, April 1st, no less than 200 human rights organisations called on US-based Mars Wrigley to withdraw its Snickers brand – the official 2022 Winter Games candy bar – from the Olympic and Paralympic event. Otherwise, warn the activists, it could appear “guilty by association“.