At least one Olympian suffering bed bug bites

by nobugsonme on February 13, 2010 · 2 comments

in bed bugs

The news is inundated with stories of Canadian downhill skier Manny Osborne-Paradis’s bout with bed bugs in his lodgings at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The Star’s Dave Perkins wrote,

He might or might not win Canada’s first medal of these Olympic Games when the real racing begins Saturday with the men’s downhill 2:45 p.m. ET, weather permitting, but if he doesn’t it won’t be because the pressure got to him. Because nothing seems to get to him except, maybe, those damned bedbugs.

There was Osborne-Paradis on Thursday, after squeezing in another training run on a shortened version of the Dave Murray Course, laughing and joking with reporters again, this time about the bedbugs that have nested in the private local condos where the Canadian skiers are staying. No one is giving out the top-secret location, naturally, except perhaps to a fumigator.

Earlier this week, he woke up with the itch and was scratching away even as he stood at the start gate for a training run. So he has washed the sheets and taken precautions and perhaps wondering why he got the lucky bed and teammate Robbie Dixon, sleeping five feet away, escaped the critters. He thought it wise to add, in case others were listening, “I have a girlfriend. I want to make it clear I’m not going around sleeping in any other rooms.”

Let’s not forget that it was in Vancouver that a public health officer suggested a link between promiscuity and bed bugs. (Well, there is a link, but only if you do the hanky-panky in the presence of bed bugs.)


No[t] even the Tuesday night attack of bedbugs, cleared by a changing of sheets the next morning, could shake Manny. Nobody else was affected, he said Thursday, not even [teammate Robbie] Dixon sleeping just a few feet away.

[Emphasis added.]

Note to the Canadian press:

One service you could provide Canadians and visitors alike is to point out correctly that everyone who is bitten by bed bugs does not react to bed bug bites.  Robbie may also have been bitten and may react in a few days, a week, or never.

Also, it would be useful here to point out that changing the sheets will not eliminate bed bugs from a bed or a room. Unless, that is, you are somehow lucky to have one bed bug hanging out on your sheet.  (Good luck with that.)

It may be amusing for the press to turn an Olympian’s bed bug bites into soundbites, but let’s remember there’s a real hazard here: it is a certainty that visitors to this year’s Olympics will return home with bed bugs. The question is, how many.

I have a feeling that six months down the line, we’re not going to hear follow-up stories on the Olympians, journalists, vendors, and tourists who brought bed bugs home from Vancouver.

An ounce of information for their benefit would not go amiss.

Note to Everyone at the Olympics:

It’s not too late to avoid tracking bed bugs home.  Search your lodgings, take preventive measures!  See our travel FAQs for tips on prevention and detection (including how to search a rented room), and what to do if you think you’ve encountered bed bugs on your trip.

1 Pest Control Info February 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Interesting to see that there is no place to hide frmo these critters. Even the best of the best in athletics can not defeat the mighty bed bug.

2 nobugsonme February 15, 2010 at 2:13 am

Apparently I scared Vahe Gregorian, a reporter writing on the Games for, who is staying in a hotel with some dodgy reviews:

Couple nights unscathed now, and was starting to think probably will be OK after all. But then I read about Canadian downhiller Manuel Osborne-Paradis being attacked by bed bugs in the team’s condo.

Then I made the mistake this morning of reading more about it on, which suggested that you might not react to bed bug bites for days. Suddenly feeling itchy all morning.

The even worse news is that you may not react at all.

The good news is that while bed bugs can appear in any hotel (because people bring them in and out), they may be in certain rooms and not others. It is not too late to search the room, and to take precautions when you go home — the steps are outlined in the links from the post above to our Travel FAQs.

Take note: being bitten in a hotel may sound nasty, but bringing bed bugs home with you accidentally is really bad. And it can be avoided.

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