The 2008 Olympics were a soft power victory for Beijing. A successful Games in 2022 could validate its authoritarian system
February 22, 2021 at 00:02
"Hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics was a symbol of China's rejuvenation," writes historian Zheng Wang .
Some 14 years after hosting its inaugural Olympics, Beijing will become the first city to stage both the Summer and Winter editions of the Games, in February 2022.
"The 2022 Winter Olympics could help (Beijing) to revamp their image from a world factory to a world power.
"Lee Jung-woo, University of EdinburghLee Jung-woo, an expert on sports diplomacy and international relations at the University of Edinburgh, said the 2008 Games "enabled China to demonstrate its emerging economy status.
The 2022 Winter Olympics could help them to revamp their image from a world factory to a world power."
The level of public concern about human rights abuses in China in 2022 dwarfs the outrage around the 2008 Games," she said.
"The Olympic Games are not about politics," Rogge's successor, Thomas Bach, wrote last year .
Since 2008, China's GDP has grown from $4.6 trillion to $14.3 trillion, according to World Bank data .
Expectations will be lower, especially if the Tokyo Games are scrapped, or even go ahead in a heavily-controlled, muted fashion -- or, worse still, are scrapped.
"The likelihood of a 2022 Olympic boycott is increasing by the day.
Vaccines were not in play when the Tokyo Games were postponed in 2020, and Japan only began its inoculation program this week.
The 2022 Olympics will take place at the point when many countries will have had just enough time to vaccinate at least part of their populations.