GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEXSTAR) — As the world gets ready for the Beijing Games, some may wonder why the International Olympic Committee picked China as the location for the Winter Olympics.

Hosting an Olympics puts a city and a country on a pedestal. More than 3 billion people around the world tuned into the Tokyo Games, and with that much attention, it’s no wonder that politicians and advocates with an agenda use the Olympics to enhance their voice.

But it’s the athletes who get caught up in the middle.

Human rights is the rally cry around the Beijing Games. China has been accused of genocide against the Uyghur Muslims. President Joe Biden has implemented a diplomatic boycott and others have followed.

But some are saying that’s not enough and the games should be boycotted altogether.

“It is essentially aiding and abetting the Beijing regime, to carry out its propaganda and to cover up a sports-washing of its genocide,” Pema Doma, the campaigns director at Students for a Free Tibet, said.

This is a road the United States has been down before. In 1980, former President Jimmy Carter pulled the United States from the Moscow Games to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

Greg Meyer was an elite athlete at the time, and the boycott cost him his shot in 1980.

“I’m torn. Because as a person who values human life, most of this is around human rights issues, genocide,” Meyer said. “When they took that away it was like, for what? It just made you angry that you were singled out to make a statement, nobody else was, and it hurt.”

Three years after missing out on Moscow, Meyer won the Boston Marathon, but his Olympic dream never came to fruition.

Meyer said he met Carter years later, and Carter admitted the boycott was a mistake.

“I still feel to this day, the athletes in ’80 were used. It didn’t change anything. I think in China right now, if we’re going to pull out, pull out,” Meyer said. “But pull it all out, don’t go half way. Have you ever seen anybody win a game where they only gave half effort or a fraction of an effort? No, doesn’t work.”

If athletes were to be asked to pull out, Meyer says that corporations — like Olympic sponsors and NBC — should also be asked to as well.

“We’re making decisions on a group of athletes that have no impact on our economy or scale of life. It’s really on their life,” Meyer said. “When you start asking corporations or networks to say, ‘No, we’re not going to do business until they change.’ That hurts the economy. That hurts them. Nobody is willing to do that.”