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Olympian in Quarantine Blasts 'Inhuman' Living Conditions

Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs decries lack of fresh air at hotel, calls it 'mentally super draining'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2021 9:46 AM CDT
Olympian in Quarantine Blasts 'Inhuman' Living Conditions
In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, Candy Jacobs of the Netherlands is seen in a skateboarding competition in Rio de Janeiro.   (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

(Newser) – An Olympic skateboarder who was put in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 called the conditions at the hotel "inhuman" on Wednesday. Candy Jacobs has been in isolation for eight days and missed the street event in skateboarding's debut as an Olympic sport, per the AP. She said she had to force officials to allow her a supervised short break for some fresh air away from her room, where the window doesn't open. "Not having any outside air is so inhuman," the 31-year-old Dutch athlete said in a video message posted on Instagram. "It's mentally super draining ... definitely more than a lot of humans can handle." Jacobs was removed from the Olympic Village and put in a quarantine facility for people at the Tokyo Games infected with the virus. On her seventh day of isolation, she said she refused to move.

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After more than seven hours, she said, officials agreed she could stand at an open window under supervision for 15 minutes. "Having that first breath of outside air was the saddest and best moment in my life," Jacobs said. Although Jacobs didn't get a chance to compete on Monday, she praised 13-year-old gold medalist Momiji Nishiya of Japan and said watching the event on TV was "a super-cool distraction" from quarantine. "This ride has been the wildest I have ever been on and hopefully [I'll] never have to go through something like this again," said Jacobs, who added she's still testing positive for COVID-19. The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. (She's not the only athlete with a gripe about the Olympics.)

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