A Dutch skateboarder who is in quarantine at the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 called the conditions of her isolation “inhuman,” saying she had to repeatedly push supervisors to give her access to fresh air.
In a Wednesday Instagram video that appears to have since been removed, Candy Jacobs, who has been in isolation at a Tokyo hotel for eight days, said she had to “go on a strike for outside air."
“Not having any outside air is so inhuman,” she said in the video, according to The Associated Press. “It’s mentally super draining ... definitely more than a lot of humans can handle.”
The AP reported that the 31-year-old, who was removed from the Olympic Village to be put in a quarantine area for Tokyo Olympics participants who have tested positive, refused to move on her seventh day of isolation in order to force her supervisors to give her a short fresh air break.
Jacobs, who said the window in her room doesn’t open, added that following more than seven hours, officials said she could stand at an open window for 15 minutes while under supervision.
“Having that first breath of outside air was the saddest and best moment in my life,” added Jacobs, who due to her positive test was unable to compete in the street event of skateboarding’s Olympic debut.
“This ride has been the wildest I have ever been on and hopefully never have to go through something like this again,” Jacobs said, according to the AP.
In response to questions on Jacobs's account of the isolation conditions, the IOC's Kirsty Coventry said in a Thursday press conference that the committee has "been working on improving all of those experiences," though she noted that "the quarantine centers in hotels are government centers."
Richard Budgett, head of the IOC's medical and science department, also said in the press briefing that the Tokyo Olympic Committee and other organizers have "worked tirelessly to make sure that the conditions in the hotel are as good as possible, although there's still going to be huge stress."
"Obviously, it's tough for any athlete when they're sick or injured in the leadup to this major event and on top of that, if it happens to be COVID-19, you end up in an isolation hotel, which is really hard, however wonderful the conditions were," he said.
Tokyo Olympic organizers have said that more than 150 Olympics personnel, including athletes, have tested positive for COVID-19, with 16 new infections reported on Monday alone, according to U.S. News & World Report.
U.S. Olympic beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb is among the athletes who have tested positive, receiving the diagnosis just days before the Games officially began last week.
Tokyo is also seeing record high infection rates amid the Games, which have received backlash from local communities due to concerns that Olympics participants would bring more COVID-19 cases to the area.
On Wednesday, Tokyo recorded more than 3,000 infections for the first time during the pandemic, outpacing the record set just the day before of 2,848 infections recorded.
Despite the health and safety concerns posed by the Games, health experts have said there is no evidence to suggest that Olympic participants have passed along the virus to the general public.
Updated Thursday at 10:40 a.m.