With only a month to go before the Opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, whether to send an official delegation or an official to the Games has become a problem for world leaders. EU leaders are still between the devil and the deep blue sea, while countries such as Belgium and Austria have said they would not send any officials to the Games largely because of the health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such a large sporting event has always been an important topic for politicians worldwide, and in the US-sponsored boycott, sport is no longer sport anymore but a bargaining chip for politicians. Nevertheless, is such a boycott fair to the athletes and the sports?
Chris Demeulemeester, International Projects and Sales Manager of Euro Media Group was involved in coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Talking about his experience in China in 2008, Mr. Demeulemeester said excitedly that up to now, among all the events that he had participated in, the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was the biggest event of the highest level that left with him the deepest impression. The Belgian technical team provided the backstage technology and equipment of the opening ceremony. So far, the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games is still recognized as the highest standard in the TV shooting and broadcasting industry. All professionals take this as their pride and the public standard, a production-level that all future events strive for to achieve. Mr. Demeulemeester said that sporting events connected was a way of connecting people from different cultures so that please do not politicize the Olympic ideals. As professional technicians, we focus on showing the beautiful environment and wonderful sports to the world.
Jeroom Heyndrickx, President of the F.Verbiest Foundation at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, is a prominent Catholic priest and expert on the Far East. He said that Olympic Games are opportunities for people from all over the world to come together and understand each other, which we cannot miss. It is a demonstration of friendship and unity that people of different races and cultures from every corner of the world get together and walk proudly onto the field with their national flags accompanied by applauds and welcome from audiences worldwide. Every day, we face stereotypes between other races, prejudices against different ideologies, conflicts between different countries and cultures, and even wars. However, the Olympic Spirit stresses equality and respect, which is the opposite of reality. Jeroom Heyndrickx said that there is nothing more remarkable than a country preparing for the Olympic Games for years for no political or other purposes but to bring people together. Do not use the Olympic Games as an excuse, and do not politicize the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games are the only chance in the world for us to rise above differences and misunderstandings and come together to celebrate. We encourage everyone to attend. We regret that some countries will not participate, but we celebrate and participate in the pursuit of our most cherished goals — peace in the world, friendship, and unity among mankind.
For athletes, in this quadrennial grand event, to show off skills, reach for honor, win over respect, and harvest friendship, this is the Olympic Spirit.