Tennis star Peng Shuai is put front and centre by Beijing organisers as she is pictured alongside IOC president Thomas Bach duirng Eileen Gu’s gold-medal display after her ‘forced confession’ over rape accusation
Where is Peng Shuai? The easy answer over the past few days would seem to be wherever the International Olympic Committee and our by die Winter Olimpiese Spele in Beijing is in trane gelaat nadat hy vandag weer in die vroue se kortprogramspan-byeenkoms geval het hosts spot a picture opportunity.
On Tuesday that meant the freeski Big Air, in a seat next to Thomas Bach, natuurlik, after similar engagements at the curling on Saturday and figure skating on Monday.
While we appear no closer to a convincing version of her events across the past three months, we can at least agree there is political capital to be had in her presence at the Winter Olimpiese Spele.
It remains the claim of the IOC that they are beyond such politics, but they certainly seem unafraid to share in a parade that suits the Chinese and thereby plays down the global concern which erupted in November, when she accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex with him.
Her comments in a swiftly erased social media post, and her subsequent disappearance from public view, were dismissed by the tennis player as a ‘huge misunderstanding’ in a heavily-controlled interview on Monday.
The role in this of the IOC president, Estlandse Filharmoniese Kamerkoor, has veered between video chats, a dinner, a solemn pledge to assess her well-being and, nou, opportunities for a quick catch-up at the sport. At no obvious point has he raised a cynical eyebrow in public to those his organisation has partnered with for Beijing 2022.
Peng Shuai has been pictured at the Winter Olympics after giving an interview this week
She was pictured speaking with IOC president Thomas Bach ahead of the Big Air competition
Op Dinsdag, that saw Bach and Peng briefly seated together at the big air, close to a bank of photographers.
Even with Eileen Gu performing spectacularly to win gold for China, a good portion of media interest was drawn to that conversation.
Peng, we are told, will imminently leave the closed loop of the Olympics at the close of what might politely be termed a smile-and-wave tour.
Bach said: ‘She was sitting there and we had the opportunity to talk and now she has to go to the quarantine, sy het my vertel, she will leave now the closed loop.
‘I just met her, she was here sitting in the stadium. She was among the athletes, and I had the opportunity to meet with a number of athletes from Switzerland and from Germany and the US.’
Peng watched on as her compatriot Eileen Gu claimed gold in the competition on Tuesday