Despite the Olympic Village’s varied menu, options for athletes are drastically more limited this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. To prevent any potential spread of the virus, athletes and all other Olympic participants can only travel between designated venues.

That means they can’t venture outside the Olympic ‘bubble’ to sample local cuisine.

Here’s what some athletes eat.


NAMES: Adrian Diaz and Olivia Smart

SPORT: Ice dancing


A favorite cited by many athletes is hot pot, a popular Chinese dish that allows people to choose from a variety of raw ingredients like meat, seafood and vegetables to add to a boiling, seasoned pot of broth. .

Spanish ice dancing duo Adrian Diaz and Olivia Smart say they eat it every day in the canteen.

“I’ve never had a hot pot before and it’s one of the main things about dinner here,” Smart says. “It’s a new discovery for me.”

They have a strategy for deciding which of the many flavors to choose: “You just take the sauce that the person in front of you took,” says Smart.


NAME: Tom Kuhnhackl

SPORT: Ice Hockey

COUNTRY: Germany

Aside from dumplings, noodles and hot pot, German ice hockey player Tom Kuhnhackl says he indulged his sweet tooth.

“I am a big dessert. I tried all the desserts,” he says. “All kinds of cakes, all kinds of cookies. It was more like dynamite.

Red velvet cake, green tea cake and avocado ice cream are some of the sweets he tried.


NAME: Nicole Schott

SPORT: Figure Skating

COUNTRY: Germany

“I like that it’s different from all our European rice,” she says. “It’s actually what I eat every day.”

It may seem obvious, but she says she’s noticed others like her too. She also brought food from home, including black bread, porridge and muesli.


NAMES: Filip Taschler and Natalie Taschlerova

SPORT: Ice dancing

COUNTRY: Czech Republic

The lack of gluten and lactose has limited Czech ice dancer Filip Taschler’s options. At home, for example, he opts for almond or coconut milk. But he says there are only dairy products and soy milk in the Olympic Village.

Experience has taught him that he should bring more snacks with him when he travels for competitions, he says.

Otherwise, he says the food has been good. He likes dragon fruit and melon, which he says are sweeter than in the Czech Republic. And although he doesn’t eat dairy, he and his partner Natalie Taschlerova have heard that the ice cream is good.

“The Italians, they said it was pretty good,” he says. “So that means a lot.”


NAMES: Jean-Luc Baker and Kaitlin Hawayek

SPORT: Ice dancing

COUNTRY: United States

To make oats overnight during the Olympics, American ice dancer Kaitlin Hawayek packed ingredients like chia seeds, almond milk and protein powder.

“I like the consistency of knowing that I had my own food that I would have at home,” she says.

After the competition, she says she is excited to try more food in the Olympic Village. She liked hot pot.

“I had never tried hot pot before, but everyone convinced me,” says Hawayek.

Partner Jean-Luc Baker says he could get more adventurous with the many sauces. “Coming into the competition, you want to make sure everything is going as smoothly and normally as possible,” he says.


NAMES: Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis

SPORT: Ice dancing

COUNTRY: Finland

Finnish ice dance partners Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis say they are ready to have fun after finishing their free skating performance.

“The competition is over for us,” says Versluis. “It’s KFC time.”

When they arrived in Beijing, Versluis says they were given Pizza Hut pending negative test results to allow them to move. But he says they were waiting to eat at KFC, which he tried once a long time ago.

They say the Olympic Village has no McDonald’s, which has been there in past Games.



—ATHLETES ON: Killing time when not competing


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