IOC and Beijing 2022 organisers vow to address living conditions for athletes in quarantine facilities

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Beijing 2022 organisers have promised to ensure “perfect” conditions for athletes in quarantine after receiving complaints from several competitors. Reports have surfaced about athletes in isolation that are unhappy about issues such as the quality of their food, and the cleanliness and size of quarantine rooms.

COVID-19 cases inside the Winter Olympic Games bubble have hit the second highest number since the 23rd of January. 45 new cases were detected on Friday.

A total of 353 Games participants have now tested positive, either at the airport or at the bubble.

So far, 2 877 athletes have landed in Beijing. But organisers say the situation is under control.

They also vowed to look into complaints about the living conditions for athletes in isolation.

“Most of us, we have found ourselves once in a situation where we’re not necessarily meeting the conditions that we expected and we make it a complaint and it is addressed. And it’s very unfortunate that it affected an athlete. It’s been addressed. Let’s be thorough, very thorough in the future to make sure that internet connections, food, size of the rooms, equipment for training, everything is perfect for these athletes that do suffer from the conditions,” says Christophe Dubi, IOC Games Executive Director.

Meanwhile, New Zealand snowboarder, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has won the Kiwi’s first-ever Winter Olympics gold medal. She scored 92.88 on her final run on a challenging course that resembles the Great Wall of China.

Sadowski-Synnott beat a tough field of competitors, including the reigning two-time gold medalist, Jamie Anderson.

“I definitely felt that weight coming into this event that it could be New Zealand’s first gold if I managed to do well. So yeah, I guess it just shows that Kiwis carry far beyond their weight and yeah, I’m pretty stoked,” says Zoi Sadowski-Synnott.

But the marquee event of the men’s Alpine Olympic programme at the Games was postponed to Monday.

On Sunday, high winds forced two hours of delays before organisers threw in the towel. The men’s downhill will take place in between Monday’s scheduled women’s giant slalom. This will be held in two stages on the technical course adjacent to ‘The Rock’ speed course.

Similar wind in the upper and middle areas of the course led to the cancellation of training on Saturday.

China will increase the supply of merchandise, featuring popular Games mascot, “Bing Dwen Dwen”. The announcement came as Chinese media and internet users reported difficulty in purchasing souvenirs.

Many shoppers queued for hours at a flagship store selling the merchandise. But they returned home empty-handed, as the mascots sold out quickly.

Many said on social media that buying an Olympics souvenir would make them feel more a part of the Games. The sport spectacle has mostly been devoid of spectators, as tickets to events were not sold to the public. This is done to curb the spread of COVID-19.