Churros, pranks, and hallway bobsleds: Here's what Winter Olympic athletes get up to when they're not competing

Getty ImagesAnna Fernstaedt, a skeleton racer from Germany, jumps for joy on her apartment bed at the Olympic village in Pyeongchang.

Athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have all had to work hard.

Qualification for the Olympic games requires years of dedication, training, and skill.

So it might be easy to assume that while competitors are preparing for an event they adhere to a strict diet, work out in the gym, and go to bed early.

But some athletes like to let loose.

This involves eating churros, playing elaborate pranks on each other, and riding makeshift bobsleds down hallways inside the Olympic village.

Business Insider has collected photographs from Getty, Instagram, and Twitter to shine a light on how some competitors at the Winter Olympics have been spending their downtime.

Scroll down to find out.

Athletes tend to hang out at the Olympic village in Pyeongchang. Some nations send delegations so large they take up multiple floors within the high-rise apartment blocks. North Korea, for instance, has three floors reserved but the competitors are “separated from other nations.”

Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images


Before athletes check-in, they might sign this “Truce Wall.” One of the themes of every Olympics is peace — and that is not lost on athletes. Here, three American lugers (Emily Sweeney, Erin Hamlin, and Summer Britcher) pose in front of peace symbols that were originally designated for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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Once inside, athletes can get together and hang out in the apartments, much like members of the Australian Olympic team are doing right here.

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Others take advantage of the recreational centre, like Team Norway’s ski jumper Robert Johansson, who needs no second invitation to shoot some pool.

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The recreational centre has other activity areas, too – you can also play air hockey and pinball.

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Speed skater Koen Hakkenberg of the Netherlands opts for a FIFA video game. Though it’s unclear which team he has gone with, it’s probably safe to assume he is representing the Dutch.

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Three members of the US women’s hockey team pass the time by drinking coffee and playing cards.

They also take lots of photos.

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For skeleton racer John Daly, it’s all about playing pranks. His favourite is the “trust fall” — a trust-building exercise where a person deliberately falls and relies on somebody else to catch them, even when they’re not expecting it. Daly’s favourite target is his American teammate Steven Langton, a double Olympic medalist from the Sochi games.

Snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of Team New Zealand gets some rest before competition begins. The 16-year-old is one of the youngest competitors in Pyeongchang and finished just outside the medal positions in the slopestyle final.

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When Swiss skier Fabian Boesch isn’t on the slopes he spends his free time defying gravity and posting escalator tricks on his Instagram account. Boesch achieved internet fame for this stunt.

It is not the first time Boesch has engaged in hijinks as he also hijacked a pallet truck so he could use it like a bobsled.

Boesch also scaled to the top of the Olympic rings statue outside of the apartment blocks in the village.

Gold medal winning snowboarder Shaun White’s social media accounts seem more introverted than Boesch’s. But who can blame White for taking a moment to appreciate the view he has from his room.

Others, like American figure skater Adam Rippon, have been spending their time winning over Twitter with hilarious posts, like this…

…And this.

Chloe Kim, who is fast becoming the face of snowboarding at 17 years old, chows down on ice cream and churros — apparently they help with her nerves.

ShutterstockChurros and ice cream.

If they can handle the cold, the life of a 2018 Winter Olympian looks pretty fun.

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