Quarantined Olympic athlete says lack of fresh air 'inhuman'

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

AP , Wednesday 28 Jul 2021
Candy Jacobs
FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, Candy Jacobs, of the Netherlands, competes in the Skate Street World Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Quarantined Olympic skateboarder Jacobs says she s had to take action to be allowed to get fresh air in an isolation hotel in Japan. The Dutch athlete was removed from the Olympic Village after testing positive for COVID-19. (AP)

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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. 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 Jacobs 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.

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 never have to go through something like this again,” said Jacobs, who added she is still testing positive for COVID-19.

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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