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Olympians In Tears After Being Put In Isolation At Beijing Games

Dominic Smithers

| Last updated 

Olympians In Tears After Being Put In Isolation At Beijing Games

The Winter Olympics is well underway, with athletes from around the world competition to see who is the best.

Since the tournament, which is being held in Beijing this year, kicked off last week, a number of gold medals have already been handed out.

Just yesterday, Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot claimed victory in the slopestyle, only three years after he was diagnosed with cancer.

However, not everyone has been having a great time of it at the games in China.

With the country aiming for a zero-Covid tournament, dozens of athletes have been placed in isolation, away from the Olympic village and their teams for over a week at a time.

Some of those who have been removed from their camps have shared emotional videos from their rooms, complaining about the lack of contact and the food they are being given.

Kim Meylemans. Credit: Instagram
Kim Meylemans. Credit: Instagram

Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans shared a video to her Instagram account last week, in which she explained that she had to spend a second week in isolation and that she wasn't sure whether or not she would be able to continue.

Visibly upset by the situation, the 25-year-old said: "I'm not sure I can handle 14 more days of being at the Olympic competition while being in isolation."

But she is not alone in her experience.

Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova said recently that the food she was served during her time in isolation was inedible, and that her weight dropped drastically that her "bones [were] sticking out".

A photograph, which has since been deleted, was shared by the athlete to her Instagram account and showed a plastic tray, which was split into several compartments and had an assortment of fairly grim looking food.

She wrote: "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."

Some of the food given to athletes. Credit: Instagram
Some of the food given to athletes. Credit: Instagram

Natalia Maliszewska, a Polish speed skater, also spoke out about her 'traumatic' experience of being in quarantine, which left her in tears.

She described having been moved in and out of isolation over a number of days as a result of differing Covid results.

Talking about her 'night of horror', the 26-year-old said: "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."

Jukka Jalonen, who is the head of Finland's ice hockey team, said on over the weekend that one of his athlete's human rights were being violated by the Chinese authorities.

Marko Anttila has been isolating since he tested positive for Covid over two weeks 18 days ago.

However, Jalonen has complained because he is being kept apart from his team despite not experiencing any symptoms of illness.

According to reports, athletes must remain in isolation until they produce two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart.

In a statement, Christophe Dubi, Olympic Games executive director for the IOC, admitted the conditions were ‘not good enough’, but insisted that ‘a lot of improvements’ have been made. 

"It is a duty and responsibility that we have to make sure that the expectations are met,” Dubi said, according to Inside the Games

"We have heard and discussed with the NOC (National Olympic Committee). 

"In the meantime, the situation has been addressed."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram

Topics: China, Winter Olympics, Olympics, Food And Drink

Dominic Smithers
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