BEIJING SNAPSHOT: Local fans are allowed to enter the Olympic bubble | Olympic Games

BEIJING (AP) — Some local fans can watch the Beijing Games in person, though it’s unclear exactly how they were selected for a visit inside the tightly controlled Olympic bubble.

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

Plans to sell tickets to the general public were abandoned before the start of the Games. But organizers said around 150,000 local spectators, including schoolchildren and foreign embassy staff, would be allowed in some venues.

How they are selected is a bit of a mystery. Jiarong Yan, a representative of the Beijing organizers, said they apply and are invited by community organizations, educational institutions and other groups. They are subject to protocols including pre-entry testing and post-departure health monitoring, but quarantine is not required. They are separated from the others inside the bubble.

On Thursday, some fans sat spaced out inside Capital Indoor Stadium to watch the men’s figure skating in the free skate. Cheers erupted for China’s Jin Boyang and again when Nathan Chen of the United States delivered a free skate performance that earned him the gold.

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