LEWISBURG, Pa. — These are Bucknell University experts and story ideas that may interest you in conjunction with your coverage of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games February 4 to 20.
CHINA’S WINTER SHOWCASE — A recent story in The Wall Street Journal claimed that the “Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will, by many measures, be the most complicated on record.” It details that China’s strict COVID approach, high geopolitical tensions, governments protesting the country’s alleged human-rights abuses, and warnings about state-backed cybersecurity threats could mar China’s winter showcase. But Bucknell Professor Zhiqun Zhu, political science, chair of international relations, says Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chairman Xi Jinping will ensure the Games will be a resounding success, “which is critical before the CCP holds its 20th Party Congress in the fall to plan for the next five years, including deciding whether Xi will stay in power.” According to Zhu, the Chinese government seems highly confident of its domestic support and will showcase the country’s new achievements in technology and infrastructure during the Games. “This will be a turning point for China, never a winter sports giant,” says Zhu, a leading expert on China whose latest book, A Critical Decade: China’s Foreign Policy (2008–2018), documents China’s rise and key challenges in its diplomacy. “China may become a formidable competitor in future Winter Olympics. Xi proudly claimed when meeting with the IOC chair that the Beijing Games will ignite the passion of 300 million Chinese.” CONTACT: Zhu, 570-577-2050, email@example.com
COUNTING OLYMPIC LOSSES — No tickets are being sold to the general public at the Beijing 2022 Olympics due to the ongoing pandemic, so the normal financial losses the host country experiences will be magnified. But according to Bucknell Professor Chris Magee, economics, who teaches international economics, that lost ticket revenue will still be such a negligible fraction of China’s economy that the Chinese government probably won’t care too much about it. “The Chinese government wanted to host the games in large part to showcase their country’s rise on the world stage, raise their profile, and perhaps improve the worldwide perception of China,” Magee says. “If China can successfully host the Olympics in the middle of the surge in Omicron COVID cases, it will hope it can improve its reputation enough to offset the small loss in ticket revenue.” And that may lead to more favorable trading relationships, according to Magee, “though the exact economic benefits they get would be difficult to quantify.” If the Games are perceived a success, Magee sees China potentially bidding to host the 2030 World Cup next. CONTACT: Magee, 570-933-9610, firstname.lastname@example.org
CURLING COMMENTARY — Some 1.6 million viewers watched the 2018 Winter Olympics men’s curling final, making it one of the most seen events of the last Winter Games. Bucknell mechanical engineering student Susan Dudt ’24 of Malvern. Pa., competed in November’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials for curling, so she has competed against Team USA’s women’s representatives. Dudt’s Team Strouse won the Junior National Championship competition last year and was scheduled to compete in January’s World Junior-B Championships, in Lohja, Finland, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. Her team will compete in the World Junior Curling Championships 2022, May 15 to 22, in Jönköping, Sweden, based on its current world rankings. So, Dudt has competed against Olympic curlers and can discuss all things related to the sport at Beijing 2022. CONTACT: Dudt, email@example.com
CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org