The 2022 Olympics are less than a week old, yet controversy has already erupted. In the men’s 1000m semifinals of short track speed skating on February 7, South Korea’s Hwang Dae-Heon and Lee Jun-Seo were first and second, but the judges canceled their results because they had both fouled.
The Korean Sports Association held a press conference at the Winter Olympics’ main media center in Beijing on February 8 to protest the penalty of short track speed skating.
They also submitted a letter of protest to the International Skating Union (ISU) and filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, the ISU rejected the South Korean complaint.
SBS television broadcast a compilation entitled “The 10 Worst Moments of Chinese Cheating”, showing Chinese speed skaters pushing other athletes during the competition without being penalized.
The team’s skater Liu Shaolin 劉少林 was the first to cross the finish line in the men’s 1,000m final and was later given a yellow card for a foul because of physical contact between Liu and Ren as they approached the finish line. Hungary’s protest was similarly rejected.
The slow-motion replay showed that Liu Shaolin 劉少林 and Ren Ziwei 任子威 were not in physical contact, it was Ren Ziwei who pushed Liu Shaolin aside with his hands from behind. This footage is being replayed all over the world.
Fan Kexin 范可新- Chinese athlete, whose left hand went over the leg of the player next to her, blocks the sign of Charles—a Canadian athlete. Charles fell, and Fan Kexin fell too.
On February 5, in the semifinals short track speed skating mixed and team relay China initially lost to Hungary and the United States, placing third. Chinese team appealed. The judges then ruled that the USA and Russia had committed a foul. Finally, the Chinese squad advanced in second place in their group.
Athletes from the Finnish, German, Belgian, Polish, and Russian teams also also had problems at the isolated hotel in Beijing, such as poor or no internet connection, poor food, inadequate portions, and no training equipment. The lack of access to gym equipment or communication with the team caused significant problems for athletes.
After testing negative, the Belgian athlete cried on Twitter about not being allowed back into her Olympic bubble. According to Eurosport, Maliszewska—a Polish athlete—tweeted that her experience in Beijing turned into a horror story after she tested positive on January 30.
Sara Takanashi—Japanese women’s ski jumper and World Cup record holder—canceled her results because her leotard was “2cm loose”. In addition, Germany, Austria, Norway, and other top athletes were disqualified for failing to pass the costume.
CNN reported on February 9 that the Beijing Olympic Village had received a growing number of food complaints. Athletes, media, and other staff post messages on social media covering the quality of restaurants, types of food, or healthy choices, including complaints about the robot canteen.
Vasnetsova – a Russian athlete, cried that she was not allowed to eat enough and was so hungry that her bones bulged out. She also noticed during her quarantine that the athletes’ food was terrible, while they fed the rest of the staff just fine. The Russian team doctor, for example, had fresh fruit, salad, prawns, and cauliflower. She wrote: “I can’t understand at all why there is a difference in treatment for us, the competitors.”
Germany’s alpine skiing coach Schweiger complained about the lack of food available at the Beijing Winter Olympics, pointing out that competitors’ performance suffers if they don’t eat enough during training and competition. “There were no hot meals, just chips, some nuts and chocolate, and nothing else. This shows a lack of attention to competitive sport.”