Winter Olympics 2022
The decision to feature the athlete — Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a cross-country skier — in such a quintessential opening ceremony ritual "confronted head on one of the biggest criticisms of China's role as host," the Times writes.
Officials from multiple countries have denounced the Chinese Communist Party-led "mass detention and re-education campaign targeting Uyghur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang," writes the Times. The U.S. has declared such actions genocidal, and (alongside other nations) opted for a diplomatic boycott of the Games in protest.
The "provocative choice" to feature Yilamujiang aside, the "climactic moment" was also an homage to China's Olympic history in that it featured a man — Zhao Jiawen — and a woman working together, adds the Times.