U.S. Women's Gymnastics Alternate Tests Positive for COVID Days Before Start of Tokyo Olympics
As of Monday, three athletes within the Olympic village have tested positive for COVID-19
Kara Eaker, an alternate from the U.S. women's gymnastics team is among the latest athletes to test positive for COVID-19 in the lead up to this month's Tokyo Olympics.
Although the athlete was not initially identified, coach Al Fong later confirmed the positive test to the Associated Press, saying that she tested positive while at a training camp in Japan. The coach said that Eaker, 18, had been fully vaccinated.
Fellow alternate Leanne Wong, 17, was also placed in quarantine due to possible exposure, per KSHB.
"We can confirm that an alternate on the women's artistic gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19. In alignment with local rules and protocols, the athlete has been transferred to a hotel to quarantine. Out of respect for the individual's privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time," the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee told NPR in a statement, without naming the athlete.
CNN reports that, as of Monday, there have been 58 reported cases of COVID-19 connected to the Tokyo Olympics, which were delayed from summer 2020 due to the pandemic.
Three athletes who are in the Olympic village have so far tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Associated Press: Czech Republic beach volleyball player Ondřej Perušič's case was confirmed Monday, and on Sunday, it was announced that two South African men's soccer players had COVID-19.
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On Sunday, 17-year-old tennis prodigy Coco Gauff withdrew from her first Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19. She said in a statement she posted Sunday to Twitter: "I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won't be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo."
"It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future," Gauff continued. "I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family."
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With 11,000 athletes and thousands of support staff expected to stay in the Olympic Village, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said that there is "zero" risk of athletes infecting Japanese residents with COVID-19. Spectators have recently been banned from attending the Summer Olympics as Tokyo declared a state of emergency.
Additionally, all Olympians are required to wear face masks inside the athletes' village even if they're vaccinated.
Nearly 10,000 of the 80,000 unpaid Olympic volunteers previously pulled out of the event, many citing COVID-19 concerns. Meanwhile, a recent study found almost 60 percent of people in Japan want the Summer Olympics to be cancelled for the same reasoning.
To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23rd on NBC.