Athletes in Beijing Flooded the Organizers of the Olympics with Complaints
Athletes at the Beijing Olympics have flooded organizers with complaints about extreme training and start conditions, quarantine rules and food.
Temperatures drop to -20 degrees, and the bare hills do not stop the wind and often the feeling is minus 30 degrees Celsius.
The Swedish delegation called for cross-country skiing to be held earlier in the day to protect athletes from low temperatures - after Swedish athlete Frida Carlson was spotted trembling and was on the verge of collapse at the end of her women's skiathlon at 7.5 km + 7.5 km on Saturday.
According to the rules of the International Ski Federation, competitions cannot be held when temperatures are below -20C.
Minus 13 degrees Celsius was measured during Carlson's race on Saturday, but Swedish team manager Anders Bistrom told reporters that temperatures were closer to -31 degrees Celsius, taking into account the cold wind.
“We know the borderline of the cold, but I don't know if they also measure the effect of the wind,” Mr. Bistrom told Reuters on Sunday.
The president of the Bulgarian Biathlon Federation Ekaterina Dafovska also announced the extreme temperatures. At the opening of the Games in front of BNT, she commented that the International Biathlon Federation is negotiating with the organizers to postpone the starts, which were planned at sunset. Dafovska added that the recently planted forest does not stop strong gusts of wind and it will take about 30 years to protect.
Several cases of COVID-19 were registered during the Games - among athletes and team teams. Thus, the quarantine rules became another reason for dissatisfaction.
China has made great efforts to prevent the spread of the virus - it does not allow foreign viewers and bans the sale of tickets to the general public. The media, athletes and observers are kept in separate “balloons”, and according to the rules, anyone who enters these areas must be fully vaccinated or spend 21 days in quarantine. The rules stipulate that those who have symptoms be taken to a specific hospital, and those who do not have symptoms remain in isolation. They remain there until they give a double negative test within 24 hours.
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Early last week, Belgian skeleton athlete Kim Meilemans posted an Instagram post claiming she had been moved from one detention center to another.
“We are not even sure if I will ever be allowed to return to the Olympic Village,” she said in the video. “I'm not sure I can last another 14 days at the Olympics while I'm in this isolation.”
A statement from the IOC later said she would be given a room in the Olympic Village and was “ready to support her”.
Polish cross-country skier Natalia Malishevska also claims that she was unexpectedly released from quarantine the night before qualifying and was sent back into isolation hours before the race after a positive COVID test.
“I don't believe in anything anymore. No tests. No games. This is a big joke for me,” she wrote on Twitter.
Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova has expressed her disappointment with the food provided to athletes in isolation by posting on Instagram what she said was “breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days”.
Keith McConnell, director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told reporters on Monday that isolating athletes was a top priority and that measures were being taken to address “individual circumstances that are still a challenge”.
Others, meanwhile, praised China's determined efforts to ensure relatively virus-free games, including deep cleaning of sleeping cabins among consumers, regular spraying with disinfectant and deploying robots in kitchens and bars to prepare and distribute food.
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