German women’s singles luge gold medallist Natalie Geisenberger, who has harshly criticized the Chinese authority ahead of her debut at the Beijing Winter Olympics, said she would wait until leaving China to comment on what happened.
Reuters reported that the 34-year-old Natalie criticized China at test events in November 2021. At that time, she was unsure whether she would fly to Beijing for the Games.
Natalie would leave on Saturday, Feb 11. She said she would not comment on China while still inside the country.
The Beijing Winter Olympics launched on Feb 4. So far, no one has mentioned the issue of China’s human rights. When the reporter asked if Natalie was surprised, she replied that whether she will speak out on human rights is only a matter of time.
Natalie won the gold medal in the women’s singles luge on Feb 8, achieving the gold medal for the third time. She said at a press conference on Feb 9:
“You have to be careful when you say what and where you say it.”
“Upon my return (to Germany) there may be a few more things to be said but here on site I am not going to say something.”
Several countries, including the US and UK, have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, citing Beijing’s mistreatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities. China has denied allegations of human rights violations.
Athletes’ right to speak out at the Winter Olympics was a major issue before the Beijing Winter Olympics, but no athlete has mentioned any political issues during the competition. The Beijing Winter Olympics will end on Feb 20.