The Winter Olympics in Beijing are under growing calls for a boycott because of China’s policy on the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the western region of Xinjiang, policy that the US government has deemed “genocide.”
Beijing has vehemently denied such accusations and lashed out at what it calls the politicization of sports.
Now one of America’s most prominent Olympians – skier Mikaela Shiffrin – says she should not have to choose between her morals and her job.
“What’s a real bummer is that there’s not only accusations but, like, legitimate proof in a lot of these places we’ve been going the last several Olympics,” Shiffrin told CNN’s Christina Macfarlane.
“One of the important things about the Olympics is that it is supposed to be a global event, not just in your sort of mainstream sporting countries, but it’s supposed to be global.
“I do understand the importance of trying to stay true to that pledge, essentially. But it is tough, to be honest.”
Later in the interview, Shiffrin, who won gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics, went on to say: “The Olympics is big, and it’s something that you shoot for, and you don’t want to miss it.
“And you certainly don’t want to be put in the position of having to choose between human rights like morality versus being able to do your job, which on the other hand can bring light to some issues or can actually bring hope to the world at a very difficult time.”
The International Olympic Committee and Beijing 2022 did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.