N. Michigan/U.P. Olympians deserve support even as we observe diplomatic boycott

Dr. Bob Lorinser invites the people of Michigan’s First District to join him in sending good luck to the First District Olympic delegation, while also supporting the U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Games.

We congratulate Abby Roque, Nick Baumgartner, Kaila Kuhn, and Winter Vinecki of Michigan’s First District as they head to Beijing for the 2022 XXIV Olympic Winter Games. All are inspirations in their sport and will represent Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula well.


Kailia Kuhn of Boyne City was a competitive gymnast and aerial skiing junior champion at age 14. Her teammate, Gaylord’s Winter Vinecki, is a former triathlete and marathon runner turned winter athlete who's been aerial skiing since she was 13. Nick Baumgartner, 40, from Iron River is the oldest American snowboarder in U.S. history. Also making history is Abby Roque of Sault Ste. Marie. Roque is the first Indigenous woman ever to play hockey for Team USA.


Watching world-class athletes compete at the pinnacles of their careers against the highest caliber of competition is a time-honored tradition we enjoy every Olympiad. Some of the best stories of triumph and victory come from the Games, and this year Beijing will be no exception.


Politically, there’s another critical discussion taking shape, one we ought not to overlook. As a former diplomat with the U.S. State Department and candidate for U.S. Congress, I support the United States government's boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympics and hope the absence of a diplomatic envoy sends a message to the oppressive Chinese Communist Party – The free world condemns human rights violations of violent, authoritarian regimes.

“China’s continued involvement in genocide against Indigenous Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region is inhumane, immoral, and wrong.” - Dr. Bob Lorinser

The Olympic Games give us hope that a better world is possible because they set an example of peaceful global interaction and inspiration. Athletic attendance and participation by Team USA ensure the representation of a Nation that holds human dignity in high regard. Many Olympians work their entire lives for the honor of representing their country in their respective sports, and it’s important we preserve that opportunity.


Ultimately, the mission of the Olympics is admirable – “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”


Because Communist China cannot adhere to this principle in the governing of their Republic, a diplomatic boycott is appropriate.

Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will, and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life-based on the joy of effort, the educational value of a good example, social responsibility, and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.


The Olympic Movement covers the five continents. It reaches its peak with the bringing together of the world’s athletes at the great sports festival, the Olympic Games. Its symbol is five interlaced rings, a symbol of unity.


The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind, and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play.


The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or another status.


We wish all American athletes success and glory at the Games, especially in upholding the values of Olympism.


Good luck to Abby Roque, Nick Baumgartner, Kailia Kuhn, Winter Vinecki of Michigan’s First Congressional District, and all those with ties to the State. Go, Team USA.


MICHIGAN 2022 ATHLETES


Madison Chock and Evan Bates

  • Chock Hometown: Novi

  • Bates Hometown: Ann Arbor

  • Event: Ice Dancing

Matty Beniers

  • School: University of Michigan

  • Event: USA Men’s Hockey Team

Brendan Brisson

  • School: University of Michigan

  • Event: USA Men’s Hockey Team

Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue

  • Hubbell Hometown: Okemos

  • Donohue: Trained at Detroit Skating Club

  • Event: Ice Dancing

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker

  • Hawayek: Trained at Detroit Skating Club

  • Baker: Trained at Detroit Skating Club

  • Event: Ice Dancing

Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson

  • Johnson Hometown: Farmington Hills

  • Event: Pairs Skating Alternates

*Nick Baumgartner*

  • Hometown: Iron Mountain

  • Event: Snowboard Cross

*Winter Vinecki*

  • Hometown: Gaylord

  • Event: Freestyle Skiing Aerials

*Kaila Kuhn*

  • Hometown: Boyne City

  • Event: Freestyle Skiing Aerials

*Abby Roque*

  • Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie

  • Event: USA Women’s Hockey Team

Ryan Pivirotto

  • Hometown: Ann Arbor

  • Event: Short Track Speed Skating

  • 1,000 meter, 1500 meter, 500 meter, Mixed Relay

Megan Keller

  • Hometown: Farmington Hills

  • Event: USA Women’s Hockey Team

Andy Miele

  • Hometown: Grosse Pointe Woods

  • Event: USA Men’s Hockey Team

Pat Nagle

  • Hometown: Bloomfield Township

  • Event: USA Men’s Hockey Team

Strass Mann

  • School: University of Michigan

  • Event: USA Men’s Hockey Team

Steven Kampfer

  • Hometown: Jackson

  • School: University of Michigan

  • Event: USA Men’s Hockey Team

John Vanbiesbrouck

  • Hometown: Detroit

  • Event: USA Men’s Hockey Team

  • Team General Manager

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