Olympic athletes express distress over Beijing quarantine conditions, ‘inedible’ food

Natalia Maliszewska
  • Concerns have been raised over poor isolation conditions in quarantine hotels at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
  • Athletes have reported questionable COVID-19 testing processes, lack of edible food and stressful conditions affecting mental health.
  • Natalia Maliszewska, a Polish short track speed skater, recalled having a traumatic experience with the quarantine hotels after several conflicting COVID-19 tests.

Several athletes at the 2022 Beijing Olympics have voiced their concerns over the conditions of quarantine hotels and the distressing treatment they have faced while in isolation. 

Many of the Olympic participants placed in quarantine hotels after testing positive have reported conditions causing a deterioration in mental health, poor food options and unclear procedures on if and when they can leave, reported MSN

In an interview with Reuters, Polish short track speed skater Natalia Maliszewska described a confusing and stressful experience while in isolation at the quarantine hotels. 

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

The 26-year-old went on to say that she now lacks trust in the COVID-19 testing regime after several conflicting results and explained how unsafe she felt during the process.

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

Maliszewska is not the only athlete who reported poor living conditions in the quarantine hotels. According to Reuters, many athletes who were required to stay in isolation reported that the conditions were almost unbearable and have asked for significant improvements.

According to USA Today, U.S. bobsled athlete Elana Meyers Taylor said that due to the lack of training equipment and access to training rooms, she lifts weights and do squats as well as sprinting from “one end of the room to the other” in her small hotel room. 

Adding to the chorus of complaints, Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova criticized the “inedible food” she had received while in quarantine in a since deleted Feb. 3 Instagram post that showed her “breakfast, lunch, and dinner for five days.” Her photo appears to show charred meat on bones, plain pasta and roasted potato pieces, along with two other unidentified items in a white container. She also wrote that she “cries every day” and had lost significant weight and the strength to get out of bed, because it was “impossible to eat the rest of the food.”

In response to the athletes’ harrowing isolation experiences, the International Olympic Committee held a press briefing and stated that they are working to address the athletes’ concerns with the quarantine conditions and contacting those who were not satisfied. 

Feature Image via TVP Sport

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