The Government of Spain will send a top-level institutional representation to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, which start this Friday. The Minister of Culture and Sport, miquel iceta will attend the opening ceremony accompanied by his ‘number two’, the Secretary General for Culture and Sport, Victor Francoswhile the president of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), Jose Manuel Francowill take over from Monday.
It is a protocol and usual representation by the Spanish Executive in a sporting event of this dimension, as highlighted by the Ministry itself, but given the international tensions that this Olympic event has caused, it acquires special relevance.
Beijing 2022 will be marked by the diplomatic boycott that several of the capitalist powers, led by the US, are going to carry out. The Joe Biden administration announced in early December that will not send institutional representatives to the Games, using as an argument the violation of human rights that occurs in China.
Days later, several of his allies joined the boycott, all of them confirming that they would send their athletes. Countries like UK, Canada, Australia, Belgium and the three Baltic nations (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia) decided to make the same decision as the US, so none of their political representatives will go to Beijing.
The massive announcement of these countries provoked the anger of China (“Those who have joined this error are going to have to pay a price therefore”, threatened the Asian government) and placed many others in a compromise, mainly those of the European Union.
Spain decided from the outset that it would only join the diplomatic boycott if the 27 adopted a joint posture about. A possibility that immediately declined, given that in the face of the Belgian and Baltic position, Emmanuel Macron placed France outside that entente, guaranteeing the presence on Chinese soil of representatives of his government.
Finally, the Government of Pedro Sánchez has chosen to send a first-level institutional and protocol representation, since it is essentially the same that it usually sends to other Olympic events and top-level sporting events.
As confirmed by the Ministry, Iceta and Francos will travel to Beijing this Wednesday, where they will remain until Sunday, attending the opening ceremony that will take place on Friday at the National Stadium of the Chinese capital, in which Queralt Castellet and Ander Mirambell will act as Spanish flag bearers.
Subsequently, from Monday the 7th to Saturday the 12th, Franco will take over as head of the CSD from the Ministry’s first swordsmen. He will be present at the conference “in which qualifying tests and finals of disciplines with Spanish participation will take place, such as downhill, giant slalom, snowboard or skeletonamong others”, as explained by the Government.
Spain will go to Beijing with 14 athletes, in an appointment that will last until February 20. The two main medal options are for snowboarders Queralt Castellet Y Lucas Eguibar. The two will compete in the Spanish morning from Wednesday to Thursday of next week.