By Semih Nişancı
The countdown has begun for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, from February 4th to the 20th. 109 events in the 7 branches of Olympic winter sports will be held in the three competition districts in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. Competitions will be held at 25 facilities in total. With the preparations almost complete, the Olympics are poised to bring great excitement to the athletes and sports fans through the use of artificial intelligence technology which will be used in environmentally friendly facilities and event areas.
While the magnificent preparations have turned the world’s eyes on China, the US, which has decided to boycott diplomatically, is trying to direct its allies and the non-governmental organizations that it funds, into a boycott campaign. However, they have achieved little success so far.
We spoke to the President of the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TMOK) Prof. Dr.Uğur Erdener about the situation of winter sports in Turkey and the diplomatic boycott that is initiated by the US.
We are in the development stage
Uğur Erdener said that the quotas were largely determined 14 days prior to the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics and added that they are in a development process regarding winter sport. “7 of our athletes in total will take part in Beijing. It is of course important for our athletes to attend the Beijing Winter Olympics and to have an Olympic experience and progress there”, he said.
Erdener gave some information about the athletes who will represent Turkey in the Winter Olympics: “Our athletes Furkan Akar in short-track speed skating and Fatih Arda İpcioğlu who is relatively experienced in ski jumping, won a quota. Other than them, Özlem Çarıkçıoğlu and Berkin Usta will represent Turkey in Alpine skiing, Ayşenur Duman, Özlem Ceren Dursun and Yusuf Emre Fırat in in cross-country. I hope our national athletes will do their best in Beijing.”
NOC is always with athletes
Erdener mentioned the role of NOC in the preparation process for the Olympics and said: “The National Olympic Committee of Turkey provided the necessary support to our athletes throughout the preparation period. We also contributed financially to our athletes on a monthly basis. We have been supporting our 29 athletes in winter sports for about 3 years. In addition, when we added the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, we supported 115 athletes on a monthly basis and we will continue to do so.”
In regards to the diplomatic boycott attempt of some countries, especially the US, of the Olympic Games in Beijing, Erdener said: “This was defined as a diplomatic boycott supported by Anglo Saxon countries: the US, Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand. But the teams and athletes of all these countries will take part in the Olympics. In other words, the high-level diplomatic missions of the mentioned countries will not take place at the opening ceremony. Of course, that’s the political side of it. As a sportsman, I don’t want to go into those issues and say something. As far as I know, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was in Beijing recently and he spoke to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. I believe there is positive dialogue between the two countries.”