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5 Videos That Show the Beijing Olympics Are Already Kind of a Sh*tshow

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing officially kicked off Friday amid a cloud of doom and gloom.

SO WHAT

Politics and the pandemic threaten to make these Olympics among the most awkward ever.

WHAT THE TAPE SHOWS

Five videos making the rounds on Twitter capture some of the ways this year’s Games have already looked like a disaster in the making.

1. GEOPOLITICS: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sparked outrage from conservatives Monday by urging U.S. Olympians not to speak out against Chinese human rights abuses, lest they incur the wrath of the “ruthless” regime.

2. THE PANDEMIC: COVID-19 has resulted in empty arenas, fears that star athletes will have to bow out of the competition and dystopian hotel bars.

3. THE MEDIA: NBC, which owns exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the Beijing Olympics, has been walking a tightrope by trying to cheer on the Games without celebrating China’s repressive communist regime — and it didn’t take long for the network to slip up.

NBC News reporter Andrew Browne caught flak on social media for appearing to defend China on air during Friday’s opening ceremony.

  • “It’s worth remembering that while Western countries may be boycotting these Olympics over human rights issues, China styles itself as a champion of the developing world, and it has plenty of support in countries from Africa to Latin America where its investments are building up local economies,” Browne said.

4. CHINA BEING CHINA: Another challenge for the media has been dealing with the Olympics host nation’s heavy-handed approach to news coverage.

Chinese officials physically removed a journalist with the Dutch broadcaster NOS during a live shot Friday.

  • “Our correspondent @sjoerddendaas was pulled away from the camera by security guards at 12:00 pm live in the NOS Journaal,” NOS said. “Unfortunately, this is increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China. He is fine and was able to finish his story a few minutes later.”

5. THE VIDEO THAT SUMS IT UP: Footage of Russian President Vladimir Putin appearing to fall asleep during the opening ceremony seemed to capture the inauspicious vibes in Beijing.

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