Winter Olympics 2022: Hotel manager in Beijing calls food at own restaurant ‘disgusting’

IOC says it is aware of the complaints ‘particularly with regard to food temperature, variety and portion size’

Shweta Sharma
Thursday 10 February 2022 12:49 GMT
Food is delivered using an automated system to a table at the media dining room during the 2022 Winter Olympics
Food is delivered using an automated system to a table at the media dining room during the 2022 Winter Olympics (AP)

A hotel manager called the food of the restaurant at their own restaurant inside the Beijing Winter Olympics bubble “disgusting”.

The admission comes after several athletes and personnel recently spoke out on social media platforms to complain about the quality of food being served to them at the Games in Beijing.

The manager admitted that fresh fruits were scarce while no snack items or food was allowed from outside, reported CNN.

Describing the food at their own restaurants as “disgusting”, the unnamed manager said low-quality packaged snacks and toiletry items were sometimes available at the canteen at the Main Media Centre which mostly remains half empty.

The admission by the hotel manager appeared to confirm complaints raised by athletes since the Games began.

Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova had shared pictures of the meal she received for “breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days already” at the quarantine facility and said she cried every day.

“I’m very pale and I have huge black circles around my eyes. I want all this to end. I cry every day,” she had said sharing the photo which she later took down.

She said she only ate some pasta “because it’s just impossible to eat the rest of the food,” causing her to “sleep all day because I don’t even have the strength to get out of bed.”

She went on to say that her “bones are sticking out” from losing “a lot of weight”.

A robot-powered restaurant is functioning at the games to minimise contact amid Covid fears but is often overcrowded with people taking photos and videos.

Germany’s team chief Dirk Schimmelpfennig told the media that the living conditions were “unacceptable”, complaining of a lack of cleanliness, and poor food quality. However, he said the organisers addressed their concerns later.

Finland’s men’s ice hockey team coach, Jukka Jalonen, said one player, Marko Anttila, was “not getting food” after testing positive for Covid.

Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans broke down in a video shared on her Instagram in which she said she felt confused about Covid protocols in Beijing after she tested positive on arrival.

She later tested negative and thought she could leave for the village after spending days in isolation.

She was, however, taken to a separate government facility. Following her emotional plea, she was released from isolation and started her practice.

Releasing a statement, the International Olympic Committee said they were aware of the issues raised by athletes “particularly with regard to food temperature, variety and portion size”.

“The issues are currently being addressed together with Beijing 2022 and the respective management of the facilities concerned,” the statement said.

“We feel for every athlete who cannot compete because of a Covid-19 infection. The protocols have been put in place to ensure safe Olympic Games for everyone. All the cases are managed in full accordance with the rules stated in the Playbooks and in the adjustments which were made to the protocols.”

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