What do you mean a KFC date would not be top of your list to mark Valentine’s Day? For athletes competing at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, there are not many other options.
British speed skaters Ellia Smeding and Cornelius Kersten are one of a number of couples at the Games, but the ‘closed loop’ set-up means that athletes are not able to escape the Olympic Village and explore China's capital city.
Athletes, journalists and staff all have to stay inside an isolated bubble and not mix with the general public in an attempt to restrict the number of Covid cases, which seems to have worked so far.
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Smeding and Kersten are a team away from sport too, as joint owners of a coffee business in the Netherlands, but with focus all on their next events, Valentine’s Day has washed over them.
“Well, did you have any special plans?” Smeding asked Kersten, speaking to Reuters.
“I don’t think I actually realised that. Until you said it I completely forgot about it,” Kersten added.
“We’ll have to do a KFC date. It’s the only thing we could really do at the village - we’ll have KFC or pizza,” Smeding said.
“Yeah, maybe we’ll go and get a romantic haircut together,” Kersten said.
Figure skaters Madison Hubbell and Adrian Diaz, who are engaged, had to compete against each other in the ice dance earlier today, while Tim Koleto, who competed with his wife Misato Komatsubara for Japan in the same competition, said he would mark the occasion by buying her some flowers from the Olympic Village florist.
But for some couples competing for different countries, contact is limited - Alpine skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde said at the start of the Games that it was a “tease” being able to see his girlfriend Mikaela Shiffrin, but not being able to touch her.
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