The Australian Olympic Winter Games team is in disarray after the the International Olympic Committee (IOC) forced it out of Beijing 2022 on the eve of competition.
Athletes, coaches and team officials were thrown out of the athletes village and onto planes bound for Australia just hours before the official opening ceremony, due to the appointment of Hancock Prospecting as a major sponsor of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)
“Gina Rinehart and the mining activities of Hancock Prospecting threaten the very existence of the Olympic Winter Games,” began a brief statement from the IOC.
“Rinehart’s enormous fossil fuel mining and cattle farming businesses are major drivers of climate change. The subsequent accelerated warming is melting ice caps and creating less snow throughout the world.”
“Without snow, there is no Olympic Winter Games.”
The decision to announce Hancock Prospecting as the major sponsor of Australian Olympic teams until 2026 does not sit well with the IOC, and for this reason the Australian team was ordered out of the village, and out of the games. The governing body also disagrees with the decision to award Rinehart an Order of Australia (AO) in the recent Australia Day honours.
“The sponsorship arrangement also covers the Pacific Games in 2023, though there may not be many Pacific Island nations left in 2023 if Hancock Prospecting continues its climate destroying practices,” continued the statement.
The shock announcement denies any Australian athlete the opportunity to compete at the games, including those with realistic medal chances. The AOC was given no opportunity to appeal the decision.
International media has already highlighted the fact that the majority of the snow at Beijing 2022 is man-made.
“If the climate crisis continues, even man-made snow will not suffice for winter sports,” continued the IOC spokesperson. “Man-made snow is only effective if the ground is cold enough. If not, the snow simply melts, and conditions resemble late season skiing in Australia.”
The decision means that the Australian Olympic Committee is also banned from sending athletes to future competitions such as the summer and winter versions of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.
Australian Olympic Committee chief John Coates refused to comment of the sudden decision, explaining that he was waiting for Gina to tell him what to say. Meanwhile, Minster for Sport Richard Colbeck said the decision was of no major concern, because Australia wins so few medals at such events compared to other countries, such as China and The USA, that Australia shouldn’t bother competing in the games at all. Plus, he prefers cricket.
Rinehart, meanwhile, was unfazed at the announcement and its motivation.
“Personally, I couldn’t care less if some young Aussie kid wins a medal for twirling themselves up in the air on a snowboard. I only threw some of my pocket money at this to keep sports-mad Aussies under my spell, and to stop them from forcing the government to take real action on climate change.
“It’s amazing what you can do to the Aussie people if you pretend to like sport.”
Image: Patrick Hamilton