Uyghur Athlete Carries Final Torch in Beijing Olympics

An Uyghur cross-country skier was one of the final torchbearers who ended the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Dinigeer Yilamujiang, an Uyghur from Altay, Xinjiang, and biathlete Zhao Jiawen, sent a flame into the sky on a giant snowflake before Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the Games officially open.

Athletes carrying torches during the opening ceremony is a longstanding tradition of the Olympics, and it is considered a great honor to be the athlete carrying the last flame.

The selection of Yilamujiang as a final torchbearer came as the U.S. and other countries diplomatically boycotted the Games as protest against China’s treatment of the Uyghurs, an ethnic Muslim minority in Xinjiang province. Beijing has repeatedly denied human rights abuses.

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