COVID Quarantined Olympic Athletes Complain About Conditions An Olympics participant dressed in protective gear against COVID-19, moves their luggage in a transportation hub area at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at at the Yanqing Cluster. (Cal Sport Media via AP)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 05 February 2022 02:30 PM
Beijing’s "quarantine hotels" are making things even harder for athletes testing positive for COVID-19.
According to the Associated Press, COVID positive athletes recovering in isolation "hotels" are facing conditions that make the situation worse.
"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," Russian biathlon competitor Valeria Vasnetsova posted on Instagram from one of Beijing’s so-called quarantine hotels.
The athlete posted a photo of the food she was being served for all three daily meals during her last five days in quarantine, which included "a tray with food including plain pasta, an orange sauce, charred meat on a bone, a few potatoes and no greens," according to the AP.
Food is not the only issue faced by those athletes.
Team members are saying that they have no access to teammates in the quarantine hotels, while others are being allowed to isolate within the Olympic Village, the AP reported.
The German delegation is pushing for larger, "more hygienic," rooms, and more regular food deliveries for their quarantined athletes after three-time gold medalist Eric Frenzel tested positive.
Delegation head Dirk Schimmelpfennig called the current conditions "unreasonable," and wanted more food so the athletes would be strong enough to compete after being cleared to participate in the games, according to the report.
The rules for athletes who test positive say those without symptoms go to a dedicated hotel for isolation. Anyone who has COVID-19 with symptoms will go to a hospital. In both cases, they'll be unable to compete until cleared for discharge, the report said.
In at least one case, Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans was allowed back in the Olympic Village to isolate after posting her tearful plea on social media.
She was concerned about the lack of information she was given regarding where she would be staying during her quarantine, saying she was transported from one place to another when she thought she was going back to the village.
"I honestly don’t understand, why is there this attitude to us, the athletes?!" she wrote on social media.
According to a CNN story in late January, Chinese authorities kept the area for the games sealed off with tight security prior to the athletes’ arrival to try and keep the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant low to demonstrate the Communist Party’s efficiency in containing COVID during the games.
The International Olympic Committee said at the time of the Jan. 21 story that 1.53% arrival tests conducted were positive, while 0.02% of tests within the "closed loop" of the games tested positive.
"All cases so far are within 5 days of arrival and are therefore assessed as being imported (contracted prior to arrival in Beijing). No infection has occurred within the Closed Loop," the statement said.