There are concerns about the safety of China’s teams, while athletes have been complaining on social media about the state of their accommodation, which they say is hindering their training. They say the event wins a gold medal in bad, making London 2012, which was criticized by some, look good by comparison.
“Many social media users are already calling the games in Brazil “the worst Olympics ever”.
There are 416 Chinese Olympians in Rio.
State media have been voicing concerns about safety since April, when trial events were held.
At the time, Xinhua News Agency identified a “security issue” after Chinese women fencers were robbed and shooting team members found “unauthorised payments” on their credit cards.
This week, the foreign ministry warned Chinese visitors to avoid “dangerous” areas of Rio and vowed to increase protection for Chinese athletes after a hurdler fell victim to a scam.
Shi Dongpeng said on Sina Weibo that his luggage – including his laptop – had been stolen in an elaborate hoax involving a distraction in which he was apparently vomited on.
State media have used overseas-facing English language platforms to tell international readers about the conditions that Chinese athletes face.
Xinhua’s @XHSports account on Twitter criticizes the supposedly shoddy, and in some instances unsafe, accommodation for athletes.
Xinhua tweet about Rio accommodationsImage copyrightTWITTER/@XHSPORT
It carries pictures, including an image of a table tennis player’s room showing a gaping hole in the ceiling. Other posts say there is no electricity, or even water, in some rooms.
Xinhua also takes a dig at the selection of Western food at the Olympic village, saying, “For #TeamChina athletes, it seems they can not find much to their tastes”.
Xinhua tweet about Rio foodImage copyrightTWITTER/@XHSPORT
On Sina Weibo, posts from disgruntled Chinese athletes have received thousands of comments.
Table tennis player Fan Zhendong has posted a video of teammates trying to put up a shower curtain. It has been shared more than 20,000 times.
Fan Zhendong’s postImage copyrightWEIBO/FAN ZHENDONG
Tens of thousands of users responded to fellow table tennis player Zhang Jike’s Weibo page, asking, “Is your bathroom ready yet?”, prompting him to post that he is “happy… distractions aside”.
Feng Zhe, an Olympic parallel bars champion, adds that, “All the training room toilets are blocked, and so all closed,” and that “female teammates have had no option but to return to the [Olympic] village”.