In less than a year, Beijing will make history as the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing , which will take place from February 4 to 20, will be a massive win for China, showcasing a remarkable ability to host big name events, get infrastructure completed on time and not go over budget. The Chinese Communist Party will get a serious chance to flex some muscle and show off for all the world to see. By all accounts in the Chinese media, Beijing 2022 is on time, on schedule and on budget. Of course, numbers and information need to be taken with a grain of salt and a sceptical eye, but you can bet China will be ready. Xi Jinping did a PR tour a week ago , visiting facilities and saying all the right things, that the athletes, venues, organisers and buildings are all looking great and he is pleased with the progress. The Games will also get a serious shot of star power as it looks like National Hockey League players will attend , making the men’s ice hockey tournament a television rating bonanza. China is also hard at work making sure a number of athletes who have been groomed for years will hit peak performance. The hosts are looking to bag at least five gold medals, which would be a vast improvement from the one they won in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Wu Dajing won gold in the men’s 500-metre short-track speedskating event, with China competing in 12 sports, including bobsleigh, ski jumping and skeleton for the first time. This time they’re hoping to compete in every sport (there are 15 and 100 or more different events) and potentially double their medal haul. This is an ambitious goal, but if anyone can overachieve, it is the Chinese. IOC chief says warning against boycotts unrelated to Beijing Games They have a lot of promising athletes who could break out, or who stand on the precipice. They include Sui Wenjing and Han Cong in the pairs competition of figure skating, Cai Xuetong in snowboarding and Xue Mengtao in the freestyle skiing aerials. China’s issues with putting on a spectacular showcase of their prowess, like they did with the Summer Olympics, lies not within the actual realm of sport, but in the tricky dance that is geopolitics. In 2008, China still held an air of mystery, an insular nation announcing its arrival on the world stage. Now in 2021, and when 2022 rolls around, things will be much different. China finds itself embroiled in a long-standing trade war with the US, one that was supercharged by Donald Trump, and now looks to continue under President Joe Biden. The CCP is also engaged in other feuds with a number of high-profile nations, including the UK, Canada, Sweden, Australia and Japan. All will be sending more than their fair share of athletes to Beijing. The alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, of which the CCP is accused of a number of egregious practices, have again been thrust into the world spotlight as the one-year countdown begins. In one of his last acts as Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo declared China’s repression of Uygurs in the province as an act of “genocide”. Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee to succeed Pompeo, doubled down on the declaration and said he agreed with the assessment. On Wednesday, a coalition of 180 rights group called for a boycott tied to the issue. The coalition includes groups representing Tibetans, Uygurs, Inner Mongolians and Hongkongers. 10 years on: what happened to Beijing’s Olympic legacy? Of course, there is also Hong Kong’s National Security Law, which has been condemned by many nations, adding another layer of political tension and controversy. China is also holding two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor , who were arrested in 2018 and are now facing charges of espionage. Tokyo 2020 looks to be going ahead, coronavirus be damned, and thus the Chinese will not get a chance to steal Japan’s thunder and host a first Olympics edition in our new pandemic landscape. The Communist Party likely won’t back down on any front, and instead leave it to nations to make a decision: send their athletes or tell them to stay at home. How this plays out politically remains to be seen, as the last large-scale boycott, Moscow in 1980, was a PR disaster for the Soviet Union. That was led by the US over the CCCP’s invasion of Afghanistan, as they put pressure on the International Olympic Committee and kicked up enough fuss for a number of other high-profile nations to follow. Biden’s White House spokesperson Jen Psaki doused cold water on a potential US boycott on Wednesday, saying the administration has no plans to launch a formal boycott, even though Republican senators introduced a resolution while Trump was still in office. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said they would not support a boycott “because they have been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues”. Biden and his team will surely use the Winter Olympics to keep the heat on Beijing, and the Western media will do their part as they always do in the lead-up to any Games, highlighting both the good and bad of the hosts. China will have to stomach a flurry of negative press and controversy in the lead-up, but then like every Olympics, when the bright lights and the gold medals start getting handed out, attention spans are short and sport will become the focus.