It was a dream come true when the Danish national ice hockey national team player Nick Olesen boarded the plane to China as the Danish national ice hockey team had qualified for the Olympics for the first time ever.
But the dream quickly turned into a grim nightmare for the 26-year-old as he, upon arrival, was diagnosed with low CT values - presumably due to a previous covid-19 infection – which placed him in a Chinese covid-19 hotel for ten days.
A place which, according to Nick Olesen’s own words, is ‘worse than a Danish prison’.
On 10 February, he finally managed to be released from the hotel and media BT caught up with him the following day. He can now look back on a week and a half that he will never forget.
About his time in the isolation hotel, Nick Olesen says to BT, “I think everyone would be able to spend ten days in a hotel room if only the conditions were right. If the food was edible and one could clean a little. But that was not the case here.”
The people at the isolation hotel were served three meals a day. And it was far from a gourmet experience. “The breakfast… well, I do not know what it was. There was some dry chicken and some kind of sausage. It was not edible – let’s put it this way,” Nick Olesen says.
“Lunch and dinner consisted of cold pasta and cold meat sauce. Seven days in a row. There was no possibility of ordering anything else or getting something delivered,” he says and adds:
“But it was the little things that were the most frustrating. When you asked for water it took 10 hours to arrive. That was very frustrating and made you angry.”
Another element was the hygiene of the small claustrophobic room. “I can understand and accept that the cleaners can not clean the rooms of infected people. But when we arrived, the rooms were not even clean. It was – to be honest – super dirty,” Nick Olesen says.
“The floor and the carpet were completely filled up with dirt. Everywhere. And there was a lot of hair by the sink and on the toilet. Yes, it was just dirty all over it. And we had no opportunity to clean ourselves.”
The days in the room were extremely long – the wi-fi was so questionable that Nick Olesen for days had a very hard time communicating with the rest of the national team and with the Danish Sports Confederation.
“You just had to lie there on the bed and stare into the air and hope to be released soon. My national teammate Matthias Asperup was also isolated at the hotel and we talked together 170 times a day over the hotel phone,” Nick Olesen says.
“No one had any idea of how long we were going to be there. And that was what was the hardest thing for me. If I knew I could get out after one week, I could relate and prepare for that. But everything was unknown.”