Peng Shuai Recants Through Chinese Olympic Official

Peng Shuai Recants Through Chinese Olympic Official

Peng Shuai Recants Through Chinese Olympic Official

If anyone believes that Peng Shuai is recanting her claims of sexual assault of her own free will, I have a bridge to Gaza to sell you.

With all eyes on the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese Olympic officials are looking to get control of their athletes and make sure that nothing bad reflects on the glory of Xi Jinping’s communist paradise. We all heard Nancy Pelosi warning American athletes before the Games started to not get political – does no one think that same rules apply to Peng Shuai and the rest of the Chinese athletes?

If you will remember, Peng Shuai is a Chinese tennis star who “disappeared” from view after making a specific accusation of sexual assault against Zhang Gaoli, a retired CCP official, on the Chinese social media site Weibo. When the international sports community demanded to know where she was, Peng Shuai was paraded in front of cameras in some pretty obviously staged propaganda videos, all to prove that she was alive and happy. Alive, yes. Happy? Doubtful. And the International Olympic Committee, who talked with Peng Shuai over the phone, completely bought the story that she had a sudden urge to spend a whole lot of time at home, by herself.

Well, the tennis star was allowed to give an “interview” to L’Equipe, a French sports newspaper, and she apparently is now saying “nothing bad ever happened to me!” The problem is, L’Equipe was required to submit their questions ahead of the interview, and while Peng Shuai answered their questions, her responses were translated by – wait for it – a Chinese Olympic official who SAT IN ON THE INTERVIEW.

The newspaper said it had to submit questions in advance and that a Chinese Olympic committee official sat in on the discussion and translated her comments from Chinese.”

The newspaper published her comments verbatim – which it said was another pre-condition for interview – in question-and-answer form.”

L’Equipe asked Peng about a post in November on her verified account on a leading Chinese social media platform, Weibo, which kicked off a storm of international concern about her.”

But speaking to L’Equipe, Peng denied having accused Zhang of assault.”

“Sexual assault? I never said that anyone made me submit to a sexual assault,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.”

“This post resulted in an enormous misunderstanding from the outside world,” she also said. “My wish is that the meaning of this post no longer be skewed.”

And if you believe that, I have a three-for-one deal on bridges in Gaza, Brooklyn, AND London. Who on earth would believe this obviously coerced recanting?

Wait for it…


Oh my, this is my shocked face. The IOC is, once again, buying the happy face of Peng Shuai and taking the whole story at face value.

Asked about the interview by Reuters on Monday, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said it was up to Peng to communicate her situation.”

“We said what we had to say, the communication is up to her, it is her life, it is her story and this is why the communication is up to her,” said Bach, who had dinner with Peng in Beijing on Saturday.”

In a statement on Monday, the IOC said Peng would attend several Olympics events. She also plans to travel to Europe after the pandemic and visit the IOC headquarters in Switzerland, it added.”

Peng also said a previous knee injury that had required several rounds of surgery and her age made it unlikely she would compete professionally again.”

Why is the IOC rolling over for China? Because they don’t want to make the Chinese Communist Party mad, that’s why! They are looking to keep making money off the Games, and if that means turning a blind eye to China’s human rights abuses and the way they treat their top athletes, OH WELL.

And it also means that the Chinese athletes know that if they are used and abused, the IOC will be absolutely nowhere to help them. Remember the handpicked Uyghur athlete who lighted the Olympic torch at the opening ceremonies? Her name is Dinigeer Yilamujiang, and she has disappeared from media view after finishing 43rd in her cross-country ski event.

And what of the props athletes who are – or were – American citizens, but are competing for China in the Olympics? Figure skater Zhu Yi was raked over the coals on Chinese social media for falling while skating her short program.

Zhu Yi, 19, who skated onto the ice to cheers, fell twice during the women’s short program team event, knocking the host country down from third to fifth place.”

“Zhu Yi has fallen” immediately became the top trending topic on Weibo — the Chinese equivalent of Twitter — after her poor showing, racking up 200 million views in mere hours, according to CNN.”

The figure skater, who was recruited by China to join their team and gave up US citizenship to do so, crashed into the wall during her routine and fell again during the short performance.

The other, more popular figure in China is Chinese American freestyle skier Eileen Gu, who may not be very American anymore, though she is playing coy about her citizenship status.

Gu declined to comment when asked about her citizenship status. China does not allow dual citizenship, but there is no official record that she has given up her American citizenship.”

Raised by a Chinese mother (with American father mysteriously missing from her biography), Eileen Gu is playing coy about a lot of things. She is apparently extremely popular in China, is a rising model, and is actively managed by her (tiger?) mother.

Eileen was raised in San Francisco’s exclusive Sea Cliff neighborhood, with a bedroom view of the Golden Gate Bridge, in a house that she shares with her mother and grandmother.”

Gu is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has visited relatives and friends in Beijing most summers of her life. Her grandmother Feng Guozhen often co-stars in Gu’s social media posts, even short documentaries directed toward Chinese audiences.”

Theirs would seem a multigenerational, multicultural story of three strong women, but the family is not interested in sharing it with Western audiences without control over how it is told.”

Yan Gu, 58, said she would talk about her daughter on the record only if The New York Times avoided political questions about China and allowed her to review the article before it was published. The Times declined conditions, and there was no on-the-record interview.”

Yan Gu and Eileen’s sports agent, Tom Yaps, admitted that the concern was over how the story would be interpreted in China.”

Eileen Gu is 18, and the CCP has had its eye on her for a long time.

In January 2019, still just 15 and representing the United States, Gu won a World Cup event in Italy in slopestyle. American coaches knew that she could be a breakout star at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.”

Gu was in Beijing in 2015 when the city was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Games, a memory that helped begin Gu’s Olympic ambitions. In February 2019, she was in the front row of Chinese athletes posing with Xi Jinping.”

Months later, she announced she would compete for China rather than the United States, explaining that she wanted to help grow the sport. “I hope that through my pursuit of the extreme sport, I could enhance interaction, understanding and friendship between the Chinese and American people,” Gu wrote in Chinese on Weibo, a social media site popular in China.”

Eileen Gu is walking a tightrope, and it’s one that she will not be able to stay on much longer. If she hasn’t taken notice of Peng Shuai yet, maybe someone should point out the story to her before Gu makes a decision that she can’t undo. It’s too late for Zhu Yi, and it might be too late for Gu as well. I hope your cage is gilded and comfortable, ladies, because it’s one you will be unlikely to ever escape. Just ask Peng Shuai. If we ever hear from her again.

Featured image: Peng Shuai via si.robi on Flickr, cropped, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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