The Winter Olympics haven’t even started yet, but they’re already on track to shatter records — among them, the number of condoms and eggs delivered to the Olympic Village's premises. And if health officials don’t get a handle on a fast-spreading virus, they’ll soon add vomiting security guards to Pyeongchang Olympics lore.
The International Olympics Committee is currently quarantining nearly 1,200 security guards after an outbreak of norovirus left at least 32 of them “violently ill and vomiting” earlier this week. The highly contagious virus, which thrives in tight quarters and spreads through fecal contamination, could leave the Olympic athletes with similar symptoms if not contained in time. Opening ceremonies are Friday, and the Games run through Feb. 25.
But organizers say this year’s crop of competitors probably won’t catch anything: Tests conducted over the last five days on water “used for cooking and general consumption” have come back negative, the AP reports. (And many teams, including the U.S. ski team, reportedly stay in separate compounds outside the Olympic Village before they compete.)
In the meantime, South Korean authorities have deployed 900 military personnel to cover for the missing guards, the IOC announced in a statement Tuesday.
South Korea's Winter Games had already presented a number of headaches and oddities for Olympic organizers, thanks in no small part to the diplomatic challenge of unexpectedly having to include North Korea. Organizers have struggled to determine, for example, whether allowing North Korean athletes to use hockey sticks and smartphones would violate U.S. sanctions. (To say nothing of the enormous political symbolism the games have taken on in recent weeks, as Seoul and Pyongyang look to talk their way out of months of war-mongering).
Last week, the IOC made news when it confirmed its record-high condom order -- 110,000 will be available throughout the Village, an average of 37.6 condoms per person. But that may not be Pyeongchang’s most notable over-order.
Those who still have a stomach for it will find plenty of eggs, at least in the Norwegian section of the Olympic Village. According to an NBC report, the team accidentally ordered 15,000 eggs instead of 1,500, thanks to a Google Translate error.
“There was literally no end to the delivery. Absolutely unbelievable,” the team’s chef, Stale Johansen reportedly told the Norweigen paper Aftenposten. For what it’s worth, according to Google Translate, what he really said was, “We got half a car with egg. Fortunately, we returned most, but we were quite surprised when they carried up the eggs. There would be no end taking. Absolutely amazing.”
(Google’s translator also indicates Johansen told the paper, “We had lunch for lunch today,” which is a hard conclusion to argue with.)
Despite the inherent humor, it’s not really that great a yolk — the team was reportedly able to return most of the extra eggs.
Cover: Kamil Stoch of Poland competes in the Men's Normal Hill Individual Qualification at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre on February 8, 2018, in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)