Food at the Olympics is varied, but athletes have been getting sick
Credit: KIM KYUNG-HOON
Olympics20 – quick stats – article
I can’t believe it. It’s almost time for me to finally compete at these Olympics, and the food and air conditioning in the Olympic Village have made me sick.
The variety in the cafeteria is amazing. You can choose any food you want, but I’ve just had the worst stomach aches, and my flatmate has had really bad diarrhoea and vomiting. He’s had to start taking pills from the team doctor, which thankfully has calmed it down a little bit.
On Monday, all I ate was porridge and water for breakfast, and then half a baguette and water for lunch. It’s not exactly the usual thing I’d have for my pre-competition meals, but my belly feels horrible.
I’ve also got a really bad cold from the air conditioning in our apartment. I’m sniffing and coughing a lot, it hurts to swallow and I’m coughing up phlegm.
Humidity and air con together is a killer combo. I know in some countries I’ve been to they have really high-quality air con systems, which take the humidity out. But our apartment is either a fridge or a sauna right now.
One of the other guys in the apartment has a sore throat as well. It’s definitely not Covid because every morning I have a PCR test and they keep coming back negative.
It’s not the ideal preparation but I guess it’s just one of those things that can happen when you go to a foreign country.
But hey, it’s the Olympic Games so even if I lose a leg I’m still going to compete. I’ve torn my hamstring and had enough injuries this year without it stopping me so this won’t either.
I saw some complaints about the food up in Sapporo, where the marathon and race walks are being held. To be honest, I just feel bad for anyone up there because they are totally missing out on the full Olympic experience.
They were also mis-sold a dream because they were told the reason their races weren’t going to be in Tokyo was because it would be cooler up there and less humid. But it’s exactly the same temperature.
They shifted the longest races to really early in the day in an effort to try and beat the heat, but it just means those taking part will be tired and hot, rather than alert and hot.
Back in the Village, I’ve noticed a definite shift in people attempting to have small parties after they have finished competing.
Some are sticking to the rules more closely than others
There’s a little park behind the Olympic rings and people have started gathering and drinking there in the evening together. You have to leave Japan within 48 hours of your competition ending, so there’s a small window for people to try to have some fun.
Alcohol isn’t banned in the Village but you’re only actually allowed to drink it in your rooms, not in any public area.
I’m not sure where the alcohol is coming from because you’re not allowed out of the Village except for training. Maybe some people bought it at the airport when they arrived or I guess you could get it delivered on Amazon.
But I did see some medallists come back with carrier bags so they must have been to a shop illegally on their way home.
It’s a difficult one because we are in a bubble here so I don’t really think having a small party in the park is putting anyone in Japan at risk. Once you’ve finished competing, I think if you want to have a couple of drinks with your friends in the park then go for it.
It’s a lot more tame than a post-Olympic party would normally be, and they are doing it outside. I know it’s against the rules but I don’t see anything wrong with it.