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"Hard but fair" (ARD): Olympics in China because the Germans don't want the games?

The 2022 Winter Olympics in China are just around the corner. Frank Plasberg asks what that is supposed to mean in “Hart aber fair” on Monday evening on ARD.

Berlin – The 2022 Winter Olympics begin on Friday (February 4th, 2022), not in the Alps, Scandinavia or the Rocky Mountains, but in China. There is no tradition there, the regime had pistes and halls stamped out of nowhere and winter conditions were suggested with artificial snow.

“Winter without snow, games without freedom: What’s the point of the Olympics in Beijing?” was asked on Monday evening during Frank Plasberg’s “Hart aber fair” on ARD and the unanimous answer was: Nothing.

“Hard but fair” (ARD) with Frank Plasberg: Christian Neureuther lacks the Olympic tradition in China

Frank Plasberg started with the former world-class skier Christian Neureuther, who himself took part in the Olympic Games three times and was anything but enthusiastic about the awarding of the Games to autocratic China. During a visit to Beijing, he was able to inspect the sports facilities and found: “Everything looks chic on site, but also clinically cold and without a spark of tradition.”

Tamara Anthony, who heads the ARD studio there for the 2022 Olympics, was connected from Beijing itself. In the city, the first priority is to fight Corona, the second priority is Chinese New Year, but there is hardly any enthusiasm for the games. On the contrary, the residents of the capital complain about restrictions and road closures, but hardly anyone dares to express much more open criticism.

Olympia 2022: Frank Plasberg’s guests criticize Hart aber fair (ARD) award to China

Jürgen Hardt, foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, also said very clearly to Frank Plasberg on ARD: “The award was a sports-political decision that was wrong.” “What is the Olympic spirit anyway? What is left of the Olympic idea anyway?” asked Marina Schweizer, sports journalist at Deutschlandfunk. But the athletes have no choice, of course they also enjoy the games, which are the highlight of their careers, especially for athletes in smaller sports, but under what conditions?

And finally Felix Lee, journalist at the taz and China.Table, who was in Beijing for the taz from 2012 to 2019. He said to Frank Plasberg on ARD: “In 2008 the Chinese government at least gave itself the appearance of openness and freedom of the press, but this time there is hardly any sign of that.” It is also completely forgotten that China is one of the most repressive countries in the world world, but the IOC is not interested in this.

Tough but fair: Frank Plasberg’s guests on ARD

Tough but fair with Frank Plasberg (ARD) The guests of the show from 01/31/2022
Christian Neureuther former ski racer
Tamara Anthony Correspondent and head of the ARD studio in Beijing
Jurgen Hardt Foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group
Felix Lee Journalist at “taz – the daily newspaper”
Marina Schweizer Editor and moderator Deutschlandfunk

But what would be the alternative? Why have there been no games in Germany for 50 years? Christian Neureuther pointed out to Frank Plasberg on ARD that in Germany, even the slightest attempt to start an application leads to citizens’ initiatives that vehemently oppose the games being held. Quite apart from the costs, which are irrelevant in Beijing – the bob run alone cost over two billion, Neureuther reported – while the planned Winter Games in Munich were budgeted at just 1.3 billion.

So does the IOC have no alternatives? Ironically, the German Thomas Bach heads the organization, which now competes with FIFA for the title of the most hated sports association in the world. So it’s fitting that FIFA is hosting the soccer World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year, a country that’s as good for soccer as China is for winter sports.

“Hard but fair” (ARD) with Frank Plasberg: Is the IOC only about money?

The question of human rights connects both countries, but while Thomas Bach claims that this is an internal matter of the organizing country, Jürgen Hardt emphasized the universal component on Frank Plasberg on ARD: “Every member of the UN, including China, has committed to the Committed to observance of human rights”, it would therefore also be possible for the IOC to link the allocation of the Games to compliance with them without any problems. But that doesn’t occur to the IOC, more and more the focus is solely on money, while the Olympic spirit is less and less noticeable.

The broadcast

“Hard but fair” (ARD) with Frank Plasberg: “Winter without snow, games without freedom: What’s the point of the Olympics in Beijing?”. The broadcast online.

Every TV viewer, on the other hand, has an easy way to express dissatisfaction with the Olympic Games in China: just don’t tune in. (Michael Meyns)

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