Russian women’s hockey star ‘shaking from fear’ in Beijing

Anna Shibanova says the atmosphere in the Olympic city is stressful and she worries about Covid-19 all the time

Russian ice hockey player Anna Shibanova has said that constant Covid-19 testing, quarantines, and a lack of practice in Beijing have made her “shake from fear,” wishing that the Olympics could be rescheduled due to the pandemic.

The entire Russian squad was sent into isolation in Beijing after six players received positive Covid-19 tests.

They were not allowed to leave the Olympic Village for three days, during which all players, coaches, and staff members underwent testing on a daily basis.

On February 3 they were finally released from quarantine and allowed to conduct their first training.

We were forced to practice in our rooms because trainings were cancelled. It’s really difficult; we were left without practice, we didn’t skate. We were literally dying during today’s training,” Shibanova said.

The Olympic atmosphere? It drastically differs from the Sochi Games [in 2014]. Here we have constant testing and constant waiting for the results.

“You might not have any symptoms, but your test will be positive. We are sitting shaking from fear [of receiving positive tests]. Taking into account our situation it would be better if the Games were rescheduled,” she added.

Team Russia will begin their Olympic campaign on Friday, facing off against Switzerland.

They will also play against the USA, Canada, and Finland during the group stage.

Six players who tested positive for Covid-19 are still being made to stay in isolation. They will be allowed to join the team after producing negative tests.

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