This is clearly seen in online fan forums; they are literally brimming with indignation. "The Olympics should not turn into a lottery" - this is the main conclusion. The fact that Omicron is asymptomatic, and “almost all infected athletes and coaches are just sitting in an isolation room” only makes this controversy more acute. This is compounded by fairly frequent quasi-conspiracy maxims on sports forums that “the Chinese are doing this on purpose” in order to unnerve foreign athletes, take some of them out of the game and give an advantage to their own. There are complaints that Chinese tests are overly accurate “on purpose”, resulting in an increase in the number of false positives, and the daily testing, (which was not the case) in Tokyo, is unnecessary.
Representatives of the IOC and the Chinese Organising Committee even had to deliberately publicly refute these statements at a special press conference, which indirectly reveals their prevalence and influence on world public opinion. As a result, calls to reschedule the Beijing Olympics and hold them only when the Omicron outbreak subsides are becoming more insistent among fans and journalists. This, combined with dissatisfaction regarding infrastructural shortcomings (which, objectively, are present at any Olympics), low temperatures at the Olympic village in the mountain cluster, long waits for buses, expensive food in hotels for journalists (it is impossible to go to the city), a lack of wind protection on ski biathlon tracks and other factors has yielded an almost unanimous outcry of negativity. Given this fact, individual bravura-positive reports are perceived as the product of political "orders" intended to support China’s competitors.
The political dimension of the Beijing Olympics is also, as everyone knows, extremely acute. The Uyghur issue has drawn sharp criticism from the West. However, tellingly, there is much less criticism or a complete absence of such criticism from most countries of the Islamic world. Sceptics explain this by citing either the financial dependence of these Islamic countries on China, or the unwillingness to spoil relations with it, even among the rich countries of the Gulf. As a result, while the Koran directly condemns hypocrisy, the need for the unconditional protection of fellow believers is sacrificed to economic interests. In Russia, in the context of the current geopolitical confrontation with the West, at the official level Moscow has emphasised firm support for the Beijing Olympics and stated that sports don’t mix with politics. In response, some argue that sports cannot exist in a world without values, and as a result, Russia is targeted by the West; there it is claimed that it already shares responsibility with China for violating human rights.
In any case, Western criticism of China over the alleged violation of human rights, both regarding the Uyghurs and in general, has led to calls for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. The International Olympic Committee, wishing to protect itself from such a sharp reaction, made a decision after Tokyo that seemed to be unrelated, but with the underlying goal to prevent such a boycott. Of all the IOC members, only one country has refused to participate in the Tokyo Olympics - North Korea, under the pretext of the coronavirus.
Although the reason is understandable and admissible in a pandemic, the IOC reacted unusually harshly and suspended the National Olympic Committee of North Korea from participating in the Olympics for several years. As the journalists noted, the real goal of such a decision was by no means to condemn the DPRK itself, and not just to prevent other countries from introducing a complete boycott of the Beijing Games under the threat of their removal from further Olympics. It worked; no one announced a complete sports boycott of the Beijing Games or a refusal to send athletes there. About a dozen countries have introduced a diplomatic boycott, when a sports delegation travels to the games, but heads of state and government officials do not. Several other Western countries have announced their refusal to send officials to the games for a milder reason - "because of the pandemic". It is significant that the European Union could not work out a single solution, and some countries have introduced a diplomatic boycott, while others refused it and are sending their officials to Beijing. In any case, the diplomatic boycott campaign led to harsh media criticism not only in China itself, but also in the IOC, which was often accused of pandering to dictatorial regimes, or being corrupt, etc.
Despite all this negativity, politics, psychological fatigue from the Olympics as vanity fairs and the “coronavirus lottery” in the context of the Omicron outbreak, the Beijing Winter Olympics begin. We wish the athletes success!