Did China give Olympics 2022 athletes AWESOME gifts of Samsung gadgets, and a personalised necklace?
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : China Gave Olympics 2022 Athletes These AWESOME Gifts!
This video and message are going viral on WhatsApp, claiming to show the awesome gifts that China gave Olympic Games 2022 athletes.
A total of 2,925 athletes participated in the Winter Olympics. The country has prepared a gift bag for every athlete, which contains the latest Samsung mobile phone worth $7999, sports headphones, a unique Winter Olympics necklace and ring, and a small quilt that is close to the body.
Foreign athletes are happy when they open the gift bag. Shout out Mamma Mia, resounding throughout the sports village. The cost of the Samsung phone is no more than $3k (marketing & profits accounting for more than half the listed price).
Product placement to the 3,000 Olympian influencers will cost about $9m. Compare that with a 30-second advert slot during the Superbowl for $6m a pop. If they give a Huawei the Western press would be terrified. 🌿
Truth : China Did NOT Give Olympics 2022 Athletes Those Awesome Gifts!
This is yet another example of pro China fake news circulating on WhatsApp, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Video Was Taken By Petra Nieminen
The video was misappropriated by the fake news creator, probably because it has the comment – Beijing 2022 gifts for athletes.
This video was actually taken by Petra Nieminen, a hockey player from Finland, who was showing off the free gifts she received since arriving in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Fact #2 : Gifts Not Prepared, Nor Given By China
The gifts Petra showed in the video were neither prepared, nor sponsored, by China – the host country for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Incidentally, Samsung will also be giving them to athletes at the upcoming Paralympic Games!
The personalised necklace with the ring was given to the athletes by Lumoava – the official Olympic partner of the Finnish team.
Fact #3 : No Evidence Athletes Shouted Mamma Mia
There is no known report of any athlete shouting Mamma Mia on getting their gifts. It is also a silly claim since it’s an Italian expression.
Fact #4 : The Gifts Do Not Cost So Much
The fake news creator made up the value of these gifts, falsely claiming that the Samsung smartphone cost $7,999.
The personalised Lumoava Brilliance Pendant 4 necklace, which is engraved with the words “Olympic Team Finland Beijing 2022” costs €124 or about US$142.
Fact #5 : Lumoava Necklace Limited To Finnish Athletes
From what I understand, the Lumoava necklace was made specially for Finnish athletes, and was not given to athletes from other countries.
Teams from different countries received different gifts from their partners. For example, Team USA received gear from Skims, while Team Canada received special Lululemon gear.
Fact #6 : China Can Spy On Athletes Without HUAWEI Smartphones
The fake message mocked Western media for fearing HUAWEI smartphones. The truth is – China can spy on Olympic athletes without giving them HUAWEI smartphones.
All participants in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are required to install and use the My 2022 app, which ostensibly is used to keep everyone connected and informed about services, food, transportation, etc.
The problem is one cybersecurity researcher, Jonathan Scott, recently reverse-engineered the app, and found that it was capable of recording and sending audio to servers based in China.
It appears that Chinese netizens / 50 Cent Army are creating such fake news to cover up negative news of from the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Since arriving in Beijing, Olympic athletes from Germany, Belgium and Russia have complained about nightmarish conditions in their quarantine hotels – bad food, poor to no Internet connectivity, no access to training equipment, or even the ability to communicate with their own teams.
Whatever their reasons may be, there is no excuse for creating and spreading fake news. Help us fight their fake news by sharing this fact check!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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