DENVER, CO – Diplomatic boycott… This is what President Joe Biden has floated for the upcoming winter Olympics in China. What does this mean? It means that no diplomat can go to the games but our athletes can go and participate. The reasoning for this is the ongoing genocidal behavior the CCP is purporting upon the Uigyr people. To me this sounds like Joe doesn’t feel like getting on a seventeen hour plane flight to China. If he truly cared he would pull our athletes. He would also lobby the European nations to do the same.
Here at home, the MLB All-Star Game was moved from Atlanta due to a political farce that was subsequently walked back by members of the left AND the right as being a hasty decision. Biden was all over this and supported it from the get go. No one in Atlanta was being sent to reeducation camps (except a few Falcons fans). No one in Atlanta was being raped or killed. No one in Atlanta was substantively hurt and yet the league under immense political pressure ironically moved the game to a location with less early voting to appease various interests. In China, all of the aforementioned terrible things are happening and yet a “diplomatic boycott” is sufficient? I think not.
Politics aside, there is a real athletic reason to boycott these games. It doesn’t snow in Yanqing. The average annual snowfall where the skiing events will be held is about 8 inches. Why did they even get considered to host the games? It takes around thirty inches of natural snowfall compressed by snowcats or skiers to hold a ski run together. At that amount there will still be rocks everywhere. I am sure they will starve water rations for entire cities in order to blow enough snow for the event. That said, some of the best skiing locations in Europe have moved races before due to lack of snow making capability. This doesn’t change the fact that blown snow doesn’t react like natural snow. In truth, blown snow is great for racing. It is harder and wetter than natural snow. Most race courses are injected with more water in places to make them faster. They aren’t, however, injected everywhere.
I was at the 2015 FIS World Championships, wherein I saw Bode Miller crash out in the Super G. He was having the run of his life until he caught an edge. He was fortunate that the snow was great that day. The afternoon sun softened up the course and he was able to stop in a relatively short distance after a double ejection. This warming is an effect of natural snow that contains more air. If he had that crash at Yanqing he could have died. It would be like trying to stop yourself on a hockey rink that is at a 45 degree angle (Yanqing has a max descent angle of 68 degrees). Next year in February I predict you are going to see more downhill skiing injuries than in any other olympics before.
Call your congressman or woman. Tell them to pull our athletes so none of them has to die like the Uigyrs(?).
Oh, and speaking of crashing and going downhill, the Mets have a new GM…
Feel free to comment below and come back tomorrow for our Bode Miller, Short Matt.