Athletes raving about food, especially Chinese cuisine

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From authentic Chinese food such as red bean buns and dumplings to typical Italian dishes of pasta and pizza, the dining hall of the Olympic Village is catering to all athletes’ tastes, and they are loving it.

In between competitions, athletes from across the world are using Tik-Tok to document what they are eating inside the village, and they all appear to be satisfied with the variety and taste of the food, with Chinese cuisine among the most popular.

On Wednesday, during the snowboarding halfpipe qualifying round, Jenise Spiteri, who is representing Malta, finished her run and popped half a red bean bun into her mouth while waiting for her score. The scene quickly made her a darling online after it was broadcast live.

In an interview afterward, Spiteri said Chinese food is her favorite, and she has been eating six red bean buns every day. On the morning of the competition, she was too nervous to swallow any food, so she stuffed some buns in her backpack and one in her pocket.

“When I did the run, I was like, ‘OK, now I can finally eat’,” she said.

Although she missed out on a spot in the final, placing 21st in the qualifier, Spiteri earned herself a great amount of attention, becoming a top trending topic on the Sina Weibo microblogging platform.

“The girl is so cute. I strongly suggest that she bring more red bean buns when she returns to her home country,” a netizen commented.

Star snowboarder Shaun White from the United States filmed videos giving a food tour of the Olympic Village dining hall. His videos showed an array of food stations labeled as Chinese cuisine, Asian cuisine, pizza and pasta, salad bar, deli, desserts and fruits.

“Got a lot of questions about what we eat, and they’ve got literally everything,” White said in one video.

The 35-year-old five-time Olympian also had a Chinese meal after finishing the halfpipe qualifier on Wednesday. He ordered kung pao chicken, mapo tofu, broccoli, rice and pork dumplings, and he left a note saying “amazing food!!”.

Czech ice hockey player Samantha Kolowratova also vlogged about a typical meal in the village. “A lot of fried rice, chicken, tofu, more fried rice, some salad. I’ve been eating way too many dumplings,” she said.

US athlete Julia Marino, who won the silver medal in the women’s snowboard slopestyle on Sunday, told NBC that her favorite food is dumplings.

“I’ve probably had like 200 dumplings since I’ve been here. I get back from the mountain-dumplings. It’s the only thing I feel like is consistently always good,” she said.

According to the Olympic organizers, the Village offers a 24-hour catering service with a menu of 678 dishes from 12 global regions approved by the International Olympic Committee. The menu was designed to meet various dietary needs, including vegetarian, halal and kosher meals, and also includes famous local dishes from places such as the provinces of Sichuan and Guangdong.

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