COVID hotel quarantine: Olympian's tour of hotel quarantine

HOTEL QUARANTINE: Olympians Georgie Rowe and (left) coxswain James Rook. Picture: Supplied
HOTEL QUARANTINE: Olympians Georgie Rowe and (left) coxswain James Rook. Picture: Supplied

IT'S the highlight of your day getting the two knocks on your door because you just don't know what's going to be sitting there.

These are the words from Olympic rower Georgie Rowe, who has landed back on Australian soil after placing fifth in the women's eight rowing event in Tokyo.

She has given the Northern Beaches Review an exclusive glimpse into her daily life in hotel quarantine, and explains that those knocks on her hotel door are the twice daily food deliveries. Often, they come along with gifts and messages from her loved ones and supporters.

The Narrabeen resident is among hundreds of Olympians serving their time in quarantine after the Tokyo Games. While some are in Darwin's Howard Springs quarantine facility, Rowe's in The Mantra in Sydney.

Just like everyone else who flies into Australia, she'll be in hotel quarantine for 14 days. And although she has established some routine, she admits the downtime has been challenging.

"The emotions are definitely up and down," she said. "On reflection, after one week in a hotel room on my own, I'm definitely an extrovert for a reason - I love people, I love physical touch, it's one of my love languages.

"Being so distant from the people I love and also my crew, we've been so close the last few months, and then being on your own it's hard but it's all a part of the process. It's pretty overwhelming to be honest."

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To help pass the time each day she's had an exercise bike and ergo (rowing machine) delivered to her room.

"I wake up and do yoga for an hour and I have been enjoying not setting an alarm," she said. "After four years of just bashing yourself, how nice it is for an extended period of time not waking up to an alarm!

ON HER BIKE: Olympian Georgie Rowe's got an exercise bike and ergo in her hotel quarantine room to help pass the time. Picture: Supplied

ON HER BIKE: Olympian Georgie Rowe's got an exercise bike and ergo in her hotel quarantine room to help pass the time. Picture: Supplied

After that, it's phone calls with friends, a bit of uni work (she's completing a Master of Business Administration and Masters of Public Health), reading and a few talks organised by the Australian Institute of Sport.

"As long as I do my yoga, a bit of exercise, connect with some people throughout the day then I'm doing pretty good," she said. "You can't leave your room, but I'm pretty lucky I've got a balcony."

For a treat, those in quarantine can order fast food to their hotel room.

While the downtime was needed after years of training for the Olympics, Rowe worries that athletes left with their own thoughts for too long could "pull apart" everything that happened in Tokyo, good and bad.

"That's probably what's dangerous about having athletes in quarantine because you can really deconstruct whether you've had a positive or negative Olympics," she said.

This story Take a tour inside hotel quarantine with an Olympian first appeared on Northern Beaches Review.