Local fans allowed inside Olympic bubble

Some local fans are watching the Beijing Olympics in person, although it’s not clear how they were selected for a visit inside the tightly controlled Olympic bubble.

As part of the strict measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the Games, athletes, reporters and others are being limited to a “closed loop” of dedicated Olympic venues and hotels.

Plans to sell tickets to the general public were scrapped before the Games began.

But organisers announced that about 150,000 local spectators including school children and foreign embassy staff would be allowed in some venues.

How they are selected is a bit of a mystery.

Jiarong Yan, a representative for Beijing organisers, said they apply and are invited by community organisations, educational institutions and other groups.

They’re subject to protocols, including testing before they enter and health monitoring after they leave, but quarantining isn’t required. They are kept separate from others inside the bubble.

On Thursday, some fans sat spaced apart inside the Capital Indoor Stadium to watch the men’s figure skating free skate.

Cheers erupted for China’s Jin Boyang and again when Nathan Chen of the United States delivered a free skate performance that won him the gold medal.

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