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Olympic champion Ohno insists US must compete at Beijing 2022

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-07 16:53
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WASHINGTON - Apolo Ohno, a two-time Olympic short-track speed skating champion, argued that the United States should focus on the "purity of sport" by competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and resisting calls for a boycott.

Certain members of the US Congress called for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on human rights grounds.

But Ohno, who is the country's most decorated Winter Olympian with eight medals, insists the US Olympic team should be allowed to compete in the Chinese capital regardless of political tensions.

"I believe that America as a team should go and represent the absolute best that we can," Ohno, who won gold at Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin 2006, told US media outlet Fox Business.

"We try to win in every single circumstance and situation.

"My passion for sport to go beyond the borders and the politicised beliefs is something that I hold dearly to my heart.

"I just want to see the purity of sport again.

"We want to see and celebrate and cheer for our country men and women who go and compete, regardless of where the Olympic Games are being held."

The Olympic Charter requires the maintenance and promotion of independence and political neutrality of Olympic sports.

United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) chief executive Sarah Hirshland said last month that a boycott of Beijing 2022 was "not the solution to geopolitical issues", and the USOPC has consistently rebuffed calls for boycott.

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