The Beijing 2022 Olympics were racked with COVID-19 related controversies despite China’s closed loop policy.  This policy required daily COVID-19 testing and isolation from the outside world for up to 21 days.   

COVID-19 and the quarantine facilities had a number of effects on athletes throughout the 2022 Olympics. The quarantine facilities were reported by athletes and officials to have poor food, no access to training equipment, no connection to the internet and unsanitary living conditions.

Russian biathlon competitor Valeriia Vasnetsova wrote of her experience in quarantine in a post on Instagram, “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.”

Aside from COVID-19 the environment itself was potentially harmful to the athletes. Despite being the Winter Olympics, it doesn't often snow in Beijing. This requires the use of fake snow. It has been estimated that 49 million gallons of water was used this year in the Beijing Olympics, according to National World

The fake snow also posed a risk to the athletes since it creates a slicker and harder surface than real snow , making the risk of injury much higher. 

According to ESPN, American skiing competitor Nina O’Brien was one of many who lost control while on the fake snow, suffering leg fractures.

Follow Shane Sansom on Twitter, @shane_sansom

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