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How Political Are the Olympics? Here's a Historical Timeline

Multiple countries have announced diplomatic boycotts of this year’s Games.

Olympic Venues As Coronavirus Casts A Shadow Over The Games
Photographer: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg
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The stands at next year’s Olympics are already slated to be emptier than usual, as five countries so far have announced their involvement in the latest of a longstanding tradition of political boycotts at the Olympics. After the U.S. announced it would not send any diplomats to the 2022 winter games in Beijing, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K. have joined in.

“There will effectively be a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing,” British prime minister Boris Johnson said in the House of Commons on Wednesday. “No ministers are expected to attend, and no officials.”