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Beijing 2022: Winter Olympics hit by deluge of complaints from athletes

Athletes at the Beijing 2022 games have complained that they are living and training in dismal conditions, prompting them to lobby organisers for improvements.

Beijing kicked off the Winter Games four days ago, promising it would be "streamlined, safe and splendid".

However, BBC reports that athletes have since complained of the freezing conditions and quarantine rules pouring in.

The Swedish delegation called for cross-country skiing events to be held earlier in the day to protect athletes from freezing temperatures - after Swedish athlete Frida Karlsson was seen shaking and close to collapse at the end of her race.

A handful of Covid-19 cases - including athletes and team officials - have been reported at the Games, with frustration bubbling over the confusion surrounding Covid isolation rules.

Earlier last week, Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans posted a tearful account on Instagram, alleging that she had been bounced from one isolation facility to another.

"We are not even sure I will ever be allowed to return to the [Olympic] village," she said in a video. "I'm not sure I can handle 14 more days and the Olympic competition while being in this isolation."

Polish speedskater Natalia Maliszewska also claimed she was unexpectedly released from quarantine the night before a qualifying race, only to be sent back into isolation hours before competing, following a positive Covid test.

Separately, Russian biathlon competitor Valeria Vasnetsova expressed her frustration with the food provided in isolation, posting on Instagram of what she said was "breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days already".

Her profile is set to private, but the image of the meal - plain pasta, potatoes, charred meat on a bone, and no vegetables - was captured by some on social media.

The BBC has been unable to verify these claims.

International Olympics Committee (IOC) sports director Kit McConnell said the isolation conditions of athletes were top priority and they were taking steps to address "individual circumstances which are still challenging".

Meanwhile, others have praised China's determined efforts to ensure a relatively virus-free games, including deep-cleaning of sleep pods between users, regular spraying of disinfectant and deploying robots in kitchens and bars for food preparation and distribution. (BBC Sport)


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