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The Winter Olympics in a Divided World | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The Winter Olympics in a divided world

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a happy start of the week to you. Got your Quick Take to get you going on a Monday, and why not talk about the Olympics, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, so different from the Summer Olympics that they hosted back in 2008, when the American president was there, and was enormously impressed, and this was China coming out onto the world stage, and seen as a global leader. Though the presumption in the West was still as they got wealthier and more powerful, and we let them into global leadership roles, including hosting the Olympics, they would eventually become more of a free market and more democratic. And of course, that was wrong.

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An employee is seen while people undergo PCR tests for COVID-19 upon their arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics. The 24th Winter Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Beijing on February 4-20, 2022.

Valery Sharifulin/TASS

Hard Numbers: COVID bursts Olympic bubble, Italian prez re-elected, Yemeni child soldiers, Peruvian ecocide

34: The organizers of the Beijing Winter Olympics reported on Sunday 34 new COVID infections within the "bubble" set up for the Games, where athletes can only compete if they test negative twice in 24 hours. Troubling news for China's zero-COVID policy.

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COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics | GZERO World

COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics

China's zero-COVID strategy will be put to its biggest test to date with the Beijing Winter Olympics approach.

Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, says Chinese officials think they are taking the safest approach, but that may not be enough against the more transmissible omicron variant.

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Athletes Likely Exempt From Eventual Beijing 2022 Boycott | IOC's Dick Pound | GZERO World

Would athletes be exempt from a Beijing 2022 Olympics boycott?

Will Western nations boycott next year's Beijing Winter Olympics over China's human rights abuses in Xinjiang? Probably not, says the International Olympic Committee's Dick Pound. But some countries, he anticipates, may opt to only send their athletes — like his native Canada, which has a lot of diplomatic issues with the Chinese. Pound, a former Olympian athlete himself, spoke in an interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Politics, protest & the Olympics: the IOC's Dick Pound

Politics, Protest & Sports | International Olympic Committee's Dick Pound | GZERO World

Politics, protest & the Olympics: the IOC’s Dick Pound

With COVID rates rising globally, this year's Olympics faced some major hurdles. But the pandemic was only part of the picture. The Tokyo Games played out against a backdrop of mounting global tension surrounding gender equality, racism and human rights, leaving many people to examine the place of politics on the playing field and podium. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer looks at the long history of protest at the Games with Dick Pound, the longest serving member of the International Olympic Committee and a former Olympic athlete himself. Plus: the US Women's National Soccer Team is the most decorated team in the sport, but are they paid as much as their male counterparts? A look at what equal pay for equal play means.

Ian Bremmer Explains: The New Olympic Spirit of Protest | GZERO World

The new Olympic spirit of protest

Politics at the Olympics are nothing new. In 1968, two black athletes who won medals in the 200m race raised a fist to protest racial inequality, a move that got them banned from the Olympics for life. A few years later, the IOC introduced Rule 50, which reads: "It is a fundamental principle that sport is neutral and must be separate from political, religious or any other type of interference." As this year's Tokyo Games wrap up, they'll be remembered not just for the pandemic, or the heated local battles over whether they should happen at all. They are also a moment when Rule 50 got squishy. Whether it was soccer players taking a knee, German gymnasts in full body leotards, or Australian athletes holding up an indigenous flag, there's been a lot of protesting going on. And to some extent, the rules have been relaxed - though not everyone agrees they should be.

Podcast: The IOC's Dick Pound on how sports and politics should mix

Listen: On the GZERO World Podcast, a look at the long history of protest at the Games with Dick Pound, the longest serving member of the International Olympic Committee and a former Olympic athlete himself. With COVID rates rising globally, this year's Olympics faced some major hurdles. But the pandemic was only part of the picture. The Tokyo Games played out against a backdrop of mounting global tension surrounding gender equality, racism and human rights, leaving many people to examine the place of politics on the playing field and podium.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.


Dick Pound: Olympics Successful Despite COVID Tensions | GZERO World

Dick Pound: Olympics successful despite COVID tensions

Before the Olympics, most Japanese people were against the Games due to fear of COVID. As the tournament got on, the International Olympic Committee's Dick Pound says that most resistance vanished, but some resentment still lingers among Tokyo's residents. "There's that tension, that still exists, but it's not interfering with the sport," Pound tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch this episode on US public television - check local listings.

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