From the Trainer’s Room: Olympic insights – Living in the loop
The Olympic sites and villages have been affected heavily by COVID.
The sites are in a loop, which is essentially a series of bubbles connected by strict and official transportation. Each site is enclosed and the only way in or out is by private bus or car.
I am staying in a hotel about 15 minutes from the Beijing Olympic Village. There is another village in the mountains about two hours away where outdoor events are being held. The hotel is literally barricaded from the public with police and security making sure protocols are followed. The same goes for the village and sporting venues.
We have to check in and check out just about everywhere we go including credentials, temperature, metal detectors and X-ray machines depending on where you are. Each morning begins with a COVID test. It’s so fun, but at least they swab your mouth. The nasal tests we had to do in the beginning felt like they were scraping your brain.
Most of my time is spent in the Capital Indoor Stadium where figure skating is held. We have up to eight practices a day spanning up to 16 hours. There are only six skaters, so treatments aren’t too hectic, but the long hours can mean eating snacks in the rink when hot meals aren’t available.
Oh yeah, and lots of coffee.
The village has a pretty cool setup, and I will be moving there in a few days when a room becomes available as athletes leave the Games. It is made up of a bunch of apartment buildings fully equipped with gyms, physio rooms, lounges, a cafeteria and a small shopping center that houses a KFC, Pizza Hut, souvenir store, and more. The food is like a college cafeteria with everything from traditional Chinese food to pizza, pasta, and salads. It’s a great place to see athletes from other countries and sports and share stories.
I even got to watch an NFL game with the Chinese hockey team as some of them are from North America and were watching.
Chris Phillips is an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist. Chris is the owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Orange County, Calif., and is currently in Beijing for the Olympics. He can be reached through Compete’s website at www.competeperformance.com.
(February 11, 2022)