Natalia Maliszewska, a Polish speed skater, stated that she was unexpectedly released from quarantine the night before the preliminary round but was later recalled to a quarantine facility a few hours before the competition after testing positive.
Maliszewska tweeted, “I have been living in fear for over a week, and these mood swings, the crying that takes my breath away, make it not only the people around me worry about me but myself alone. I don’t understand it either. I don’t believe in anything anymore in no tests. No games. It’s a big joke for me. My heart can’t take it anymore. Thank you. See you soon.”
Maliszewska isn’t the first athlete who has expressed dissatisfaction with the Beijing isolation conditions. Complaints abound concerning living conditions and food and drink in the Olympic Village.
Valeria Vasnetsova, a Russian biathlete, complained on Instagram about the poor quality of the meals, while Eric Frenzel, a German Nordic combined skier, called the isolation hotel’s circumstances “unreasonable.”
Vasnetsova says that the same meal has been served at the Winter Olympics in Beijing for “breakfast, lunch, and dinner for five days already.” Her food consisted of macaroni, potatoes, charred bone-in grilled meat, and no vegetables.
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 exhausted.”
Tahli Gill, the Australian mixed doubles curling team, was still cheerful with Covid after several rounds of testing and was scheduled to return to Australia. Still, after a few hours, the panel cleared her to compete again. At that point, there were only 15 minutes left in the race. On her return to the race and her first victory in the event, Gill said it was the craziest 24 hours.
The IOC said they updated the isolation environment after hearing complaints from stranded Olympians. Still, curiously, the president of the athletes’ commission was in the isolation facility when the IOC scheduled a meeting with the commission to discuss the situation.
According to Da Ji Yuan, a Chinese-language news outlet, epidemic prevention, and control are still ongoing during the Beijing Olympics. Every day, the athletes could only see Beijing residents through the windows of buses. Journalists were not permitted to cross the street and stroll from the field hockey rink to the curling rink because the road between the two venues was not part of a closed-loop system. In addition, following the arrival of the Omicron variant in China, the Beijing Winter Olympics canceled public ticket sales.