Rio Olympics are worst ever, say Chinese social media users

Chinese athletes arriving in Rio de Janeiro Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chinese social media users have said the biggest task for the athletes this year is to "come back alive", amid safety concerns

Chinese media commentators and social media users have been making scathing comments about the poor conditions they say Chinese athletes are having to endure in Rio de Janeiro.

There are concerns about the safety of China's teams, while athletes have been complaining on social media about the state of their accommodation, which they say is hindering their training.

Many social media users are already calling the games in Brazil "the worst Olympics ever".

They say the event wins a gold medal in bad, making London 2012, which was criticised by some, look good by comparison.

There are 416 Chinese Olympians in Rio.

Security worries

State media have been voicing concerns about safety since April, when trial events were held.

At the time, Xinhua News Agency identified a "security issue" after Chinese women fencers were robbed and shooting team members found "unauthorised payments" on their credit cards.

This week, the foreign ministry warned Chinese visitors to avoid "dangerous" areas of Rio and vowed to increase protection for Chinese athletes after a hurdler fell victim to a scam.

Shi Dongpeng said on Sina Weibo that his luggage - including his laptop - had been stolen in an elaborate hoax involving a distraction in which he was apparently vomited on.

'Shoddy accommodation'

State media have used overseas-facing English language platforms to tell international readers about the conditions that Chinese athletes face.

Xinhua's @XHSports account on Twitter criticises the supposedly shoddy, and in some instances unsafe, accommodation for athletes.

Image copyright Twitter/@XHSport

It carries pictures, including an image of a table tennis player's room showing a gaping hole in the ceiling. Other posts say there is no electricity, or even water, in some rooms.

Xinhua also takes a dig at the selection of Western food at the Olympic village, saying, "For #TeamChina athletes, it seems they can not find much to their tastes".

Image copyright Twitter/@XHSport

Shower curtain

On Sina Weibo, posts from disgruntled Chinese athletes have received thousands of comments.

Table tennis player Fan Zhendong has posted a video of teammates trying to put up a shower curtain. It has been shared more than 20,000 times.

Image copyright Weibo/Fan Zhendong

Tens of thousands of users responded to fellow table tennis player Zhang Jike's Weibo page, asking, "Is your bathroom ready yet?", prompting him to post that he is "happy... distractions aside".

Feng Zhe, an Olympic parallel bars champion, adds that, "All the training room toilets are blocked, and so all closed," and that "female teammates have had no option but to return to the [Olympic] village".

Image copyright Weibo/Feng Zhe
Image caption Feng Zhe complained about blocked toilets

Olympic swimmer Ning Zetao has not had anything negative to say, but tens of thousands of users have taken to his Weibo page, sarcastically warning him to "beware of toxic water".

'One big joke'

Most posts using the #RioOlympics hashtag come from social media users criticising the apparent safety risks. Yang Jingyu says the forthcoming event has become "one big joke".

Lu Zhimin says the biggest task for the athletes this year is to "come back alive". Vivienne_Rui quips, "Our country should dispatch to Brazil the World Championship-Level disaster support group".

"Be sure to double-check the gymnastic equipment!" jokes Xiari Weifeng Xiaohan. Others joke about the uneven bars being a bit more than uneven.

"I really thought that London had the worst Olympics ever; I never expected this," says y_oyeaiyaai.

CindyFoxYeye agrees, saying, "London is finally able to regain some face."

China was notably proud about hosting the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, which were the most watched in history, attracting 4.7 billion viewers worldwide.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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