Athletes that screened positive for COVID-19 at the Winter Olympics just had it with Beijing’s quarantine hotels. Since Jan. 23, upwards of 350 Olympic athletes have screened positive for COVID-19 after landing in China’s capital. Athletes must be symptom-free and produce two negative tests 24 hours apart to be released from confinement.
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“My stomach hurts, I’m very pale, and I have huge black circles around my eyes. I want all this to end. I cry every day. I’m very tired,” Valeria Vasnetsova, a Russian biathlon competitor, posted on Instagram from one of the hotels.
A dish of plain pasta, orange sauce, scorched beef on a bone, a few potatoes, and no vegetables is shown in a photo she shared on Feb. 3. She said that it was her “breakfast, lunch, and dinner for five days.”
Vasnetsova said that she had been hungry because eating most of the meal was “impossible,” and that she was living on very tiny bites of pasta.
“Today I ate all the fat they serve instead of meat because I was very hungry,” she said, noting that she was losing so much weight that her “bones are already sticking out.”
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Vasnetsova believes that participants are treated far worse than the rest. She posted a picture of food provided to a team doctor who lived two floors under her and had came back positive as well. Fresh fruit, a salad, and prawns with broccoli constituted the menus.
“I honestly don’t understand, why is there this attitude to us, the athletes?!” she said.
Vasnetsova was anything but alone in her dissatisfaction. Unappealing food or a shortage of it, as well as cleanliness and other difficulties, have prompted condemnation of Beijing’s Winter Olympic quarantine accommodations.
Since Jan. 23, upwards of 350 Olympic athletes have screened positive for COVID-19 after landing in China’s capital. Athletes must be symptom-free and produce two negative tests 24 hours apart to be released from confinement.
While Eric Frenzel, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in Nordic combined skiing, was placed in an isolation chamber after testing positive on Feb. 4, his team rapidly discovered the circumstances to be “unacceptable.”
The subsequent day, Germany’s squad chief Dirk Schimmelpfennig told journalists that hygiene, food quality, and WiFi connections all need to be improved immediately. The team has been in “intensive talks” with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Beijing Winter Olympic organizers, according to him.
“The hotel room is unacceptable, so we will have to find a way to change this,” Schimmelpfennig said from the Olympic Village in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province. “These hotels were not shown to us in advance, and we have the situation that the athletes rightly ask for improvement.”
The athletes have benefited from the media spotlight. The International Olympic Committee interfered as Belgian skeleton star Kim Meylemans’ emotional social media video about being taken to a second quarantine area when she assumed she would be discharged, and she was provided a place to self-isolate within the Beijing Olympic Village.
Meylemans claimed she felt “safe” after returning to the village on Feb. 3.
“It seems like the video and especially also the efforts of my Olympic committee have really paid off,” she said in an Instagram video.
Vasnetsova’s eating circumstances seemed to be resolved as well, as per her team’s spokesperson, Sergei Averyanov.
Averyanov shared a photo of fish, cucumbers, sausages, and yoghurt for Vasnetsova two days after her complaints.
In a social media post, Averyanov stated that Vasnetsova “is already smiling, and that’s the main thing.”