A Finnish athlete says Chinese officials wanted her to remove photos she posted online that show poor conditions in her Olympic housing after a water leak.
Cross country skier Katri Lylynpera posted a video that showed water leaking during a flood last week, according to Australia’s News.com.
The video she posted on her Instagram stories account shows water pouring from the ceiling and pooling on the floor.
— JOHN (@JohnJohn943) February 12, 2022
Electrical equipment is visible in the video.
Lylynpera, who did not win a medal at these Beijing Games, captioned the video with one word: “Help!”
In a second video, she became more whimsical, writing, “A nice waterfall reaches all the way out. Now the water is cut off and the flood is nearly finished,” according to the Daily Mail.
Finnish-language reports said she shared a screenshot showing a message thread in which she was told to take the image offline, which she did not do.
A spokesman for Finland’s team called the claim of a take-down order “pure social media rumor” and said there was a broken pipe, but Chinese authorities fixed it “within couple of minutes.”
The report added to incidents during the Games that have made China look bad.
The stream of reports led the New York Post to vent its outrage in an editorial.
“Incompetence or malevolence? Olympic athletes are getting the full Communist China experience: barely enough food, and substandard at that, inhumane living conditions, absurd isolation rules and threats of punishment for speaking too freely,” the editorial said, adding, “These may not be true Olympics, but the Hunger Games.”
Athletes have said those who test positive for COVID-19 suffer terrible conditions.
Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova said she was served an extremely small and unappealing meal three times a day for five days while she was in isolation. By the end, she said her “bones [were] sticking out,” the UK Daily Mail reported.
Vasnetsova posted to Instagram a picture of the unsavory meal she was provided.
Polish speed skater Natalia Maliszewska had a similarly terrible experience. She said she repeatedly was moved into and out of isolation due to conflicting results from unreliable COVID-19 tests being used in China.
One particular night was burned into her memory. She said she was woken up in the middle of the night and told she would be able to return to the Olympic Village, but officials then reversed their decision and sent her back to isolation.
“I was sitting in the ambulance,” Maliszewska told the Daily Mail. “It was 3 a.m. I was crying like crazy because I didn’t know what was going on. I did not feel safe at all.”
Finland men’s hockey coach Jukka Jalonen told Yahoo! Sports that one of his players, Marko Anttila, remained in isolation on Feb. 6 even though 18 days had passed since his positive test.
“We know that he’s fully healthy and ready to go, and that’s why we think that China, for some reason, they won’t respect his human rights, and that’s not a great situation,” Jalonen said.
Anttila has played in the Beijing Olympics, most recently in the semifinals Friday against Slovakia. Finland will meet the Russian Olympic Committee for the gold medal in hockey on Sunday.
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