In the badminton semi-finals Tokyo Olympics, it was possible to see not just one team, but two Chinese teams playing the match. For China, its ability to place three separate teams in competitions, including the island of Taiwan, represented by Chinese Taipei, appears to be a positive thing for the country.
But the question of whether it is fair for a country to bring in more athletes with three different delegations has been raised because Hong Kong is winning medals unprecedented in Olympic history. The city on the southern coast of China also won the gold medal in men’s fencing with athlete Edgar Cheung. It was the first time the city had won the highest position on the Olympic podium since it was captured by China again in 1997, after a long spell under the British flag.
For badminton athlete Tse Ying Sot, from Hong Kong, the region has always had unique and distinct characteristics, as well as its own training organization.
It is a matter of pride for Hong Kong that such a small place can win a gold medal in fencing and a silver medal in swimming. It’s fun that such a small place can have such a good performance – the athlete told “Exame” magazine.
Even with the different uniforms, in mainland red as well as Hong Kong’s royal blue, the anthem played at the medal ceremonies in both places is China’s anthem. This led to a revolution, when the gold was handed over to Edgar Cheung, the audience booed and shouted “We are Hong Kong”. One man was arrested for raising the colonial flag of Hong Kong and raising the rebellion against the Chinese anthem.
This issue is not isolated, as the United States will also have more than one representative, as it includes the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean and the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea. And despite competing for their own flags, if an athlete were to take the podium in Tokyo, the anthem would be “American Banner with Twinkling Stars.”
Historical context is important to understanding the division of Chinese teams. Over a hundred and fifty years ago, Hong Kong was a British colony after which part of the territory was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1842. Only years later, China also leased the rest of Hong Kong to the British. In the 1950s, it was already a very different place from the rest of China in poverty, where immigrants and dissidents fled, and it became a center of industrialization.
It was not until 1997 that Hong Kong was actually fully returned to Chinese territory, under the slogan “one country, two systems”. As a result, Hong Kong has its own borders, legal system, and privileged rights, including freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which are theoretically protected.
Troubled past but strong Olympic future in the future, Hong Kong is far from stagnant. The flag is still standing on the Olympic podium and there is no indication that it has been ruled out.
– There has been no discussion about the status of Hong Kong, as far as I know – IOC spokesman Mark Adams revealed – I see no reason why it should not continue.
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