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Xinhua Headlines: Expectations run high with Beijing 2022 set to unite the world******
Aerial photo taken on Nov. 16, 2021 shows a view of Yunding Ski Resort in Chongli of Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province. The seats of Yunding Ski Resort in Zhangjiakou competition zone have been installed, and the staff are busy preparing the tracks for the upcoming test events of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. (Photo by Wu Diansen/Xinhua)
BEIJING, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Beijing is set to mark a historic achievement in February, when it will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
However, like almost every other Games before it, there have been some distractions from the spirit of the Olympic Games like calls for a boycott from Western politicians and organizations.
A boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games would undermine one of the key tenets by which the Olympic movement has abided since the birth of the modern Games in 1896.
The Olympic charter states that the Games must not be used as a platform for any kind of political, religious or racial demonstration.
Furthermore, the mission and role of each National Olympic Committee (NOC) includes an obligation "to maintain and promote its political neutrality and to preserve the autonomy of sport," the document says.
"The NOCs must preserve their autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind, including but not limited to political, legal, religious or economic pressures which may prevent them from complying with the Olympic charter," it adds.
The message is clear: sport and politics ought not to be mixed.
As such, calls from some quarters for NOCs to withdraw from the Beijing Winter Games because of spurious allegations related to Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong are misplaced and threaten to set a dangerous precedent.
One shudders to think what could happen at subsequent Games and how they could be used as a tool or platform to push political agendas. Moreover, sport must never cease to be the prime focus of the Olympics.
Susanne Lyons, the president of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), said as much when telling reporters in April that Team USA's athletes should not be used as "political pawns".
"We at the USOPC oppose athlete boycotts because they've been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues," Lyons said. "For our athletes, their only dream is to represent the USA and what we stand for on the international field of play."
The ill-conceived remarks by some western political leaders and media outlets have failed to sway the opinion of the Games' participants. To this day, not a single athlete or NOC has withdrawn from the Winter Games, scheduled to run from February 4 to 20.
Apart from politicizing sport, an Olympic boycott would represent a clear violation of the three core values of Olympism: excellence, friendship and respect.
In a missive to the Olympic community published in September, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach drew attention to the Games' potential to unite the planet.
"The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 come at an important moment to bring the world together in the Olympic spirit of peace, solidarity and unity," Bach said. "It will once again be the athletes of these Olympic Games that will send this message of the unifying power of sport to the world."
A vocal opponent of the boycott calls has been Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president and IOC vice president John Coates.
In a speech to Australia's National Press Club in October, Coates said the sovereignty of host nations must be respected and that no country had a right to tell others what to do.
The most important Olympic Games stakeholders - the athletes - have shown overwhelming exuberance at the prospect of participating at Beijing 2022.
Among those to express their desire to take part is the National Hockey League MVP Connor McDavid, one of the event's highest-profile stars.
"Just to be able to represent Canada at the Olympics and compete for a gold medal would be an absolute dream come true," McDavid said at the prospect of tasting Olympic competition for the first time.
Equally as enthusiastic is Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who will wear the colors of his native Sweden.
"The Olympics is one of the biggest dreams of mine and I haven't been able to participate in one. This might be the last chance I get," the 30-year-old said.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin said athletes should not have to sacrifice a pivotal moment in their careers for political reasons.
"The Olympics is big, and it's something that you shoot for, and you don't want to miss it," the 26-year-old American said. Schiffrin went further, explaining that the Beijing Winter Olympics "can actually bring hope to the world at a very difficult time."
Former U.S. short track speed skater Apolo Ohno concurred and urged athletes to focus on their sporting objectives.
"My passion for sport to go beyond the borders and the politicized beliefs is something that I hold dearly to my heart," said the eight-time Winter Olympic medalist.
"I just want to see the purity of sport again. We want to see and celebrate and cheer for our country's men and women who go and compete, regardless of where the Olympic Games are being held," he added. Enditem
Mausoleum of Han Dynasty emperor found in China's Shaanxi****** Aerial photo taken on March 14, 2019 shows the excavation site of the mausoleum of Empress Dowager Bo, mother of Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 25), in Jiangcun Village on the eastern outskirts of Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province. A large-scale mausoleum in Xi'an has been identified as belonging to Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty, local authorities said Tuesday. (Xinhua)。
XI'AN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- A large-scale mausoleum in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, has been identified as belonging to Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 25), local authorities said Tuesday.。
The mausoleum, located in Jiangcun Village on the eastern outskirts of Xi'an, is surrounded by more than 100 ancient tombs and outer burial pits. Excavation has been carried out in the area since 2017, with numerous relics unearthed including dressed pottery figurines, crossbows, and official seals.。
The mausoleum has no grave mound, and there are four ramps leading to the entrance of the burial chamber placed 2 to 4.5 meters underground. The chamber, with its base 27 to 30 meters below the ground, is 74.5 meters long and 71.5 meters wide.。Photo taken on May 7, 2020 shows seals unearthed at the mausoleum located in Jiangcun Village on the eastern outskirts of Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province. A large-scale mausoleum in Xi'an has been identified as belonging to Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty, local authorities said Tuesday. (Xinhua)。
The mausoleum is similar to those of the other two Western Han Dynasty emperors in terms of structure and scale, with traces of historical evolutions, said Ma Yongying, a researcher with Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology, adding that historical documents also support the archaeologists' claims.。Photo taken on Oct. 8, 2021 shows pottery figurines unearthed from the mausoleum located in Jiangcun Village on the eastern outskirts of Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province. A large-scale mausoleum in Xi'an has been identified as belonging to Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty, local authorities said Tuesday. (Xinhua)。
Rumors had it that Emperor Wendi's tomb is situated in a nearby location called Fenghuangzui, just north of Jiangcun Village.。
The discovery of the mausoleum puts an end to this long-running rumor which emerged due to the discovery of an ancient stone tablet with inscriptions in Fenghuangzui.。An archaeologist works at the mausoleum of Empress Dowager Bo, mother of Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 25), in Jiangcun Village on the eastern outskirts of Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province on July 17, 2018. A large-scale mausoleum in Xi'an has been identified as belonging to Emperor Wendi of the Western Han Dynasty, local authorities said Tuesday. (Xinhua)。
However, archaeologists did not find any signs of construction in Fenghuangzui during their investigation and concluded that the area is nothing more than a naturally formed loess ridge.。
Emperor Wendi, with the personal name Liu Heng, was famous for his frugality and benevolence. Under his more than 20 years of rule, the dynasty's economy prospered while the population saw an expansion. Enditem。