Tuesday, February 8, 2022

'INHUMANE CONDITIONS': Olympians In Tears Over Poor Living Conditions, Lack of Food at Winter Games

Source: NY Post

Published: February 7, 2022

By: Jenna Lemoncelli

It’s apparently not all fun and games at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Complaints from athletes and officials are pouring in about the alleged poor living conditions, dining options, isolating rooms, and debilitating weather conditions, according to social media posts.


German Alpine skiing coach Christian Schwaiger criticized the catering in Beijing and raised concern about limited food options to fuel the high-performing pro athletes.

“The catering is extremely questionable because really it’s not catering at all. “There are no hot meals,” Schwaiger said, via the Sun.

“There are crisps, some nuts and chocolate, and nothing else. This shows a lack of focus on high-performance sport.”

Team USA reportedly came prepared and brought extra food to the Winter Games, including bags of pasta.

A food station at the Winter Games in Beijing. AP

There have also been concerns about how COVID-19 is being handled in the Olympic Village.

Valeria Vasnetsova, a Russian biathlon competitor, took to Instagram to discuss her experiences under Beijing’s strict quarantine conditions.

“I’ve been getting this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for five days now. I’ve lost a lot of weight and my bones are sticking out. I can’t eat anything else, I don’t know anything about my corona tests,” Vasnetsova wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. 

Marko Anttila tested positive for COVID-19 over two weeks ago, but he and his delegation have faced trouble from Beijing about his positivity. - AP

“I only sleep all day because I don’t even have the strength to get out of bed. I only eat three handfuls of pasta a day because it’s just impossible to eat the rest of the food,” she added. 

“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,” she wrote, per the Associated Press, claiming the same meal was served for breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days.

Vasnetsova added that she ate all the fat on a piece of meat “because I was very hungry.” She also claimed that some athletes were getting worse food than others.

Athletes who test positive for COVID-19 at the Winter Games, but are asymptomatic, must isolate in a designated hotel. For those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, immediate hospitalization is required.

Athletes can return to competition once they have submitted two consecutive negative tests.

Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans broke down in tears in a video she posted to Instagram, explaining how scared and confused she was about the COVID-19 protocols in Beijing.

Meylemans tested positive for the virus when she arrived, and later tested negative. When she thought she was being transported to return to the Olympic Village in Yanqing, she was taken by ambulance to another isolation destination.  

Dirk Schimmelpfennig, the head of the German delegation, called the hotel accommodations “unreasonable,” while expressing concern about the isolation conditions for three-time Nordic combined gold medallist Eric Frenzel, who was placed in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.


The Finnish Olympic team says Marko Anttila, formerly of the Chicago Blackhawks, tested positive 18 days ago but produced several negative results prior to departure.

Head coach Jukka Jalonen blasted: “Marko has been with our team for about a week before we came here and he tested negative.”

“We know that he’s fully healthy and ready to go and that’s why we think that China, for some reason, they won’t respect his human rights and that’s not a great situation,” he added.

Polish speedskater Natalia Maliszewska said she was traumatized after officials released her from isolation and returned her to the Olympic village at 3 a.m., but then brought her back to isolation claiming they made a mistake.

“I was sitting in the ambulance. It was 3am. I was crying like crazy because I didn’t know what was going on. I did not feel safe at all,” Maliszewska, 26, said, according to Reuters.

“They had told me at midnight that I could go out and five minutes later that I could not,” she said. “They told me there’s so many politics stuff that you will not understand. It’s China.”

The International Olympic Committee released a statement about the matter, saying, “We are aware of the complaints raised by some athletes, particularly with regard to food temperature, variety and portion size. The issues are currently being addressed together with Beijing 2022 and the respective management of the facilities concerned.

“We feel for every athlete who cannot compete because of a Covid-19 infection. The protocols have been put in place to ensure safe Olympic Games for everyone. All the cases are managed in full accordance with the rules stated in the Playbooks and in the adjustments which were made to the protocols.”

Read more at: NYPost.com
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