Uphold and Defend Olympic Values and Prevent Human Rights Abuses

Target: Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee

Goal: Stop enabling human rights abuses inside and outside of the Olympics.

The Winter Olympics began with a Chinese citizen of a subjugated minority group performing a photo-op torch-lighting and is nearing an end with a teenage figure skater, possibly drugged by the adults around her, having a very public breakdown for the world to see. These two images embody the controversy that swirled around the 2022 Olympics. They also shine a harsh spotlight on the leaders of the Games who allow corruption and abuse to reign supreme.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has long been accused of looking the other way when being wooed by potential host nations with records of human rights abuses. The selection of Beijing for the winter games solidified the criticism. In just the past year, Chinese leaders have been charged with silencing a tennis star following sexual assault allegations against a former prominent politician and, even more disturbingly, of subjecting Uighur Muslims to forced labor. Despite deep concerns, the IOC has whole-heartedly embraced China as a host nation. As a result, the country used the opening ceremony as a propaganda tool, much like Adolf Hitler did to horrific effect in the 1930s.

When the women’s figure skating event exploded with allegations of doping against 15-year-old Russian rising star Kamila Valieva, the series of events that culminated with Valieva visibly shaken and being publicly berated by the very coaches under investigation for the doping scandal spoke to another major problem. At every turn, the IOC has offloaded responsibility for how athletes under its umbrella, particularly minors, are treated. They will not implement decisive punishments against the adults after allegations of doping or abuse are proven true. When Russia, the country at the heart of the latest scandal, was revealed to have sponsored a nationwide doping program, the IOC’s answer was to “ban” the country from using its name or flag during the Olympics. The frequent kicking of the can of responsibility down the road opens the door for traumas like the one the world witnessed during the final week of these Olympics. And ultimately, the youth whom this committee is supposed to be protecting suffer most, and usually suffer alone.

Sign the petition below to demand IOC leadership enact changes that will at last truly reflect the Olympic spirit.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Bach,

“Disturbing” and “chilling”: you used these words to describe the moments following the women’s figure skating event. For much of your audience, these same sentiments have been felt for weeks, months, and years. Core Olympic values are excellence, friendship, and respect. When did the IOC lose the heart of its mission of unity?

Did it happen when, failing to learn from the hard lessons of the 1936 Olympics, the IOC once again gave a global platform to a nation rife with deeply disturbing human rights abuse allegations? Or did the moment come when you decided that finger-wagging was much easier than actual accountability? Why are doping standards outsourced to others? Why do nations not face the most severe penalties for exploiting and often destroying young lives in the pursuit of glory? Why is the IOC merely “hoping” that trainers, coaches, and nations will learn their lesson in the absence of any lesson at all?

Stand up to human rights abuse, fight for the athletes who represent you to the world and create a system that works for them and for true Olympic values. If you fail to take action, the flame may be extinguished for good.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pierre de Coubertin


One Comment

  1. This guy should be locked up for good

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

803 Signatures

  • Carol Zemmel
  • Natalia Balkowska
  • Phyllis Meyerparthemore
  • Donna Fine
  • Vanessa Bartley
  • Ricki Newman
  • Paula Lambert
  • patricia calebrese
  • Marcelo Vazquez
  • Elizabeth Eisner
1 of 80123...80
Skip to toolbar