‘Hostile actor’: The U.S. likely to win Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics bid?

Written by CNN Staff

In 2016, the United States again pushed China to agree to open its doors to sports stars traveling into the country and playing competitively, as Beijing prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Shanghai-based city is fighting off competition from Milan and Oslo, among others, for the coveted honor of organizing the Winter Games.

But thanks to the Trump administration, the event could end up instead in Los Angeles, which had previously hosted the Olympics in 1984.

“There’s kind of a race for who is going to say we have the better country, we are going to have the better Olympics,” Todd Dickey, a CNN sports journalist covering the 2022 Winter Games, told CNN.

“There are lots of people in the competition in terms of what other countries want to say: ‘Hey we can do it too.'”

A Chinese athlete could potentially play a key role in Beijing’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. STAN HONDA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Dickey said there are some players who have been left off the U.S. Olympic team roster that could play a key role in securing a Beijing win. The United States, however, has still failed to come to an agreement with China, which it refers to as a “hostile actor.”

“There are some notable Chinese players on the U.S. squad,” Dickey said. “Whether or not they’ll go to Beijing — I don’t know.”

Despite the overworked relationship between the two countries, as they are at loggerheads on several international issues, there has been some progress.

In 2017, Chinese athletes played a key role in the Asian Games, the equivalent of the Olympics.

Euphoria on the Korean Peninsula

That tournament was also held in the Chinese city of Incheon. It took place shortly after North Korea and South Korea managed to settle their differences.

When the announcement of the Korean summit came out, Chinese athletes celebrated together.

“The announcement just came and it was sort of euphoric,” Nick Martin, CNN’s Beijing bureau chief and a Beijing-based sports journalist, told CNN.

“It wasn’t only athletes that celebrated: There were whole cities and companies,” he said.

In the two years between the Asian Games and the 2022 Winter Olympics, there is still a lot of time for China and the United States to work out a compromise.

“The issue now is: Are they really serious about it, or not?” Martin said.

But Dickey suggested it was also a matter of economic clout.

“It would be an economic advantage for China to host the winter Olympics,” he said.

“They would get international prestige; I think they would also gain as an entity the potential to bring a much larger amount of people in attendance to the games than if they didn’t host the Olympics.

“There’s a certain investment that would have to be made to host the Winter Olympics — the actual construction of facilities, and the food and security for the athletes and the spectators and the athletes themselves. I think to some extent that has a value in and of itself.”

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