Feb 5, 2022 - Sports

Olympic teams complain about conditions at quarantine hotels

Venue staff decked in personal protective equipment walk in the compound of the National Stadium on February 04, 2022 in Beijing, China.
Venue staff decked in personal protective equipment walk in the compound of the National Stadium on Feb. 4 in Beijing. Photo: Annice Lyn/Getty Images

Olympic athletes are raising concerns over the conditions in quarantine hotels at the Beijing Winter Olympics, AP reports.

Driving the news: Athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Games and are isolating in quarantine hotels complain of not enough food, poor quality of food and "unreasonable" living conditions, among other things.

  • "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 wrote on Instagram at one of the quarantine hotels, per AP.
  • Vasnetsova said she mostly survived on a few pieces of pasta because it was "impossible" to eat the rest, "but today I ate all the fat they serve instead of meat because I was very hungry."
  • She also said that she had lost weight and "my bones are already sticking out."
  • Another athlete, Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans, posted a tearful video on her Instagram detailing her treatment in COVID isolation and prompting the International Olympic Committee to step in.

The big picture: The quarantine hotels have also drawn criticism from athletes and their teams for having inconsistent rules and lacking transparency.

  • Some athletes who test positive for COVID-19 are required to stay in quarantine hotels without access to their teams, while others are allowed to isolate within the Olympic village, per AP.
  • According to the Olympic Playbook, athletes that test positive for COVID during the Games but are asymptomatic are to be transported to a designated hotel for isolation.
  • Athletes who test positive for the virus and experience symptoms will be taken to a designated hospital for isolation.

State of play: The conditions of Vasnetsova's quarantine hotel may be looking up, according to Russian biathlon team spokesman Sergei Averyanov, who said that the food appears to be getting better and a stationary bike is set to be delivered soon, per AP.

  • "[Vasnetsova] is already smiling, and that’s the main thing," he said.

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