Official Tokyo 2020 Olympics Twitter Account Omits National Flag of Taiwan

PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images

The Olympics omitted Taiwan’s national flag icon on its tweet celebrating the medal winners in Judo on its official 2020 Tokyo Olympics Twitter account Saturday.

Taiwan’s Yang Yung-Wei won Silver in the men’s 60kg Judo, aced out only by Japan’s Takato Naoshia, who finally brought home the Gold after several years of disappointing finishes. It was the first time Taiwan ever medaled in Judo.

The tweet also noted that Yeldos Semetov of Kazakhstan and France’s Luka Mkheidze both earned a bronze beating Tornike Tsjakadoea of the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea’s Kim Won-Jin, respectively.

However, one thing missing from the tweet was the flag icon for Taiwan’s Yung-Wei. All three of the other medalist names were followed by their country flag icon except Taiwan. The flag for Chinese Taipei (the name under which Taiwan is competing) was mysteriously absent.

The story the tweet links to, though, does mention that Yung-Wei was competing for Chinese Taipei.

The issue of Taiwan competing at the Olympics remains tricky since China has steadfastly refused to recognize Taiwan as an autonomous country and has always claimed the island nation as its own property. As a result, Olympics officials often try to walk a fine line between fully recognizing and celebrating Taiwan’s participation and mollifying the power-hungry Chinese who always protest whenever Taiwan is allowed any recognition.

Indeed, the reason the country’s Olympic team is competing as “Chinese Taipei,” instead of Taiwan, is to mollify China. Thus, any time a Taiwanese athlete wins a medal, or any time one of their athletes is introduced, the Games play a specially written “flag anthem” instead of the actual national anthem of Taiwan.

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