EXPLAINER: What does an Olympic diplomatic boycott achieve?

GENEVA (AP) — Diplomatic boycotts of the Olympics aim to snub host nations while keeping athletes free to compete. A small cascade of government boycotts hit China on Wednesday, less than two months before the Beijing Olympics open. Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada followed the United States in refusing to send officials to the Winter Games in February. The impact of these political weapons on athletes at the games should be close to zero. Viewers should see no difference in their broadcast content. Their aim is calculated to hurt the pride of host nations such as China.