“Russia, for the crime of doping, is banned from the Games hosted by a regime committing crimes against humanity,” said Chu at the hearing.
“Let that sink in,” he said. “If a two-year ban is a justified punishment for doping, what is justified for the lives and freedoms of 13 million ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and 7.5 million Hong Kongers?”
The 2022 Winter Olympics were awarded to Beijing on July 31, 2015. Few countries sought to bid for hosting the games, and four potential host cities - Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; Stockholm, Sweden; and Oslo, Norway - dropped out of the bidding process due to cost concerns for hosting the games.
The two finalists for hosting the games were Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Beijing won by four votes, and will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. In 2008, Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics.
Smith traveled to China to protest that year’s Olympics over human rights concerns.
After the United States in 2020 leveled sanctions against Chinese officials complicit in the network of detention camps in Xinjiang, China retaliated in part with sanctions against Smith.
The United States has never fully boycotted a Winter Olympics, but it did boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics, which were held in Moscow; the U.S. boycott was due to the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Bloc responded by boycotting the 1984 Summer Olympics, which were held in Los Angeles.
The 2026 Winter Olympics will be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. It is the first time the event will be held in two official host cities.