Olympic athletes are just like us.
Well, sort of.
When they’re not competing for gold, the Olympic snowboarders and roommates Tessa Maud and Maddie Mastro are all over TikTok, displaying their Olympic swag and giving people around the world a glimpse of what life is like at the Winter Games.
Maud, who at 18 is making her Olympic debut, shares her day-to-day life in the Olympic Village in Beijing, taking her followers to breakfast and dinner in the cafeteria, posting outfit-of-the-day videos in her Team U.S.A. gear and reviewing the Village’s smart beds, which come equipped with remote control devices and have a variety of settings, including reading mode and zero gravity mode. (Remember those beds last year in Tokyo?)
Similarly, Mastro has explored the pristine and gleaming Olympic Village convenience store, whose aisles are stocked with beverages, Chinese snacks and plush toys. In another video, she documents the “daily throat jab” she undergoes, recording her visit to a desolate testing site where a volunteer swabs her throat as part of the Games’ testing protocol.
There are other American snowboarders also using TikTok to talk to fans and share inside secrets from the Games. Shaun White, who confirmed that Beijing would be his final Olympic appearance, posted a video about pin trading among athletes at the Games. Holding a lanyard decorated with pins from other teams, White explains in the video how the tradition of collecting other teams’ pins typically occurs after the opening ceremony.
If it’s not the Games, the food, the beds or the training, it’s the weather. Athletes are competing in freezing temperatures at sites across Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Yanqing. Jenise Spiteri, a Maltese American snowboarder who is making her Olympic debut for Malta, showed just how cold it was in China.
“I left my apartment with wet hair this morning, and it is frozen,” she says in one video as she grabs strands of pink hair that have become as rigid as icicles.
“Oh my god,” she adds, laughing in disbelief.
Last year, athletes in Tokyo turned to TikTok to give viewers unofficial takes on life at the Olympics, where spectators were barred because of the coronavirus pandemic. The rugby player Ilona Maher quickly became a favorite in Tokyo before she even took to the field, going viral with her behind-the-scenes videos.