Olympic athletes experience China reality with lack of food, bad living conditions

You wouldn’t be able to tell by the limited scenes of festivities shown to the media, but the athletes taking part in the Beijing Olympic games are having a rough time of it. We’re not talking about the athletic competitions, but instead, the substandard food and living conditions that they are enduring. Also, the strict lockdown conditions that the Chinese are imposing on the visiting athletes if they happen to test positive for COVID aren’t helping anyone’s spirits either. There is reportedly not enough food available to even provide the minimum number of meals per day, to say nothing of the specific menus the athletes rely upon to stay in peak condition. Some of the rooms are freezing cold, also. So how much of this mess is being caused by failing supply chains due to the Omicron outbreak and how much is intentional? There’s an interesting question for us to ponder this week. (New York Post)

It’s apparently not all fun and games at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Complaints from athletes and officials are pouring in about the alleged poor living conditions, dining options, isolating rooms, and debilitating weather conditions, according to social media posts.

German Alpine skiing coach Christian Schwaiger criticized the catering in Beijing and raised concern about limited food options to fuel the high-performing pro athletes.

The Alpine skiing coach quoted in the article told The Sun that there are no hot meals available from the catering service at the facility where his team is staying. One biathlete reported that she had been told she’d tested positive for COVID (but was not shown the test results) and has been locked down for five days. She has managed to have three meals per day delivered to her cell, but it’s the same meal every time. She’s losing weight quickly and doesn’t know if she’ll be able to compete.

The Finnish hockey team coach is being more direct in his assertions about what’s going on. All of his players had tested negative before leaving for China, but immediately upon arriving, some of them were told they had tested positive and were sent to quarantine. It all sounds like a bit too much to write off to coincidence and some of the coaches suspect that the Chinese officials are giving out false positives to create barriers to victory for visiting teams.

The International Olympic Committee, as usual, is taking China’s side almost completely. They released a statement saying they “feel for” the athletes who are quarantined, but Beijing is trying to ensure “safe Olympic Games for everyone.” As to the rotten food, they only said that “the issues are currently being addressed” by Beijing. God forbid they say anything that might upset the Chinese Communist Party.

Some of these problems – particularly the food issues – are no doubt at least partly stemming from supply chain issues. China was obviously not well enough prepared or organized to handle all of the logistics required to pull off these games despite having more than a decade to get ready. But the lack of heating in many rooms and the suspicious COVID test results are another matter. That just smells like at least part of those “issues” could be the result of deliberate actions. And should we really be all that surprised if that turns out to be the case? With Xi Jinping laughing it up with Putin in the stands during the opening ceremonies, you might wonder whether the Chinese officials would be throwing a wrench into the visiting countries’ conditions just to gain an edge over them.

Such things may be difficult or even impossible to ever prove given the secretive nature of Chinese society. But at this point, I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them.

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