Swiss snowboarder Nicolas Huber wins hearts of Chinese by his humor, positivity after positive COVID-19 test
Published: Feb 03, 2022 10:37 PM
Photo: Swiss snowboarder Nicolas Huber

Photo: Swiss snowboarder Nicolas Huber

After testing positive for coronavirus upon arrival in Beijing for Winter Olympics, Swiss snowboarder Nicolas Huber began winning hearts of the Chinese public with his effort of rendering such small plight into something funny and inspiring in his videos. 

The Swiss athlete tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in Beijing on January 31. The Zurich freestyle snowboarder, who was deemed asymptomatic, has been placed in an isolated hotel room in Zhangjiakou, the co-host city in North China's Hebei Province, as per organizing committee guidelines.

Huber recorded his journey from embarking from the Swiss airport to the quarantine room in his videos posted on social media, when he turned from a chirpy man wearing Swiss flag jumpsuit covering from his head to toe running all the way in the airport in Switzerland, to someone "crestfallen" covered by protective suit in quarantine room at the Olympic village in China.

He also posted videos of himself working out, dancing in the quarantine room.

Yet those videos soon went viral on Chinese social media with many netizens cheered up by his creative way of showing up in the airport and positivity in dealing with coronavirus, loneliness and fear in the quarantine room.

"I was just really scared that I could not compete because I've been training really hard for this Olympics," Huber told the Global Times.

Photo: Swiss snowboarder Nicolas Huber

Photo: Swiss snowboarder Nicolas Huber

Yet he admitted that he was really positive during the quarantine. "I also had moments where I was scared, a little bit down, but that's normal. Every day is you have your ups and downs, but mostly I was actually positive. Because I just wanted to keep my energy high and you can't change it. It's just destiny. It's just the way it is."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beijing Winter Olympics has strict rules for participants. The athletes participating in the upcoming Games have to live inside the closed loop given the limitations from COVID-19 protocol, take nucleic acid tests regularly, and wear masks almost all the time.

"I know it's really different than where I come from. But I think every country has his own way of dealing with the COVID-19 situation," said Huber, noting that "I'm just happy to be here. I'm happy to compete. I'm happy to be at the Olympic Games. I think it's pretty amazing that we can actually have the Olympic Games even in a pandemic."

Huber told the Global Times on Thursday that he is "doing amazing," and can go only training and competition for now.

According to the playbook which outlines anti-COVID-19 measures for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, silent carriers of coronavirus will only be allowed back into the village if they present two negative tests within at least 24-hour intervals, and have no other symptoms. If they return to the competition, they will have to adopt to the measures for close contacts. 

When asked about his realistic expectation about the game, Huber said that he will try his hardest. "Maybe I will win the medal, maybe not, we will see, but I'm gonna do everything I can."

Many Chinese netizens posted online that Huber's coping with coronavirus makes them less afraid of the virus and they wish the Swiss athlete a quick recovery, as well as good result during the Olympics.

In response, Huber said he appreciated such wishes. "That's what I want to spread. I want to share with the people positivity and power. I want to encourage people to make a bad situation into a good situation."