Several of the latest COVID-related losses will be hit hard by Team USA.
On Monday, the Japanese city hosting the U.S. gymnastics team for pre-Games training said a gymnast on the team had tested positive. The name of the athlete, who is a teenager, was withheld by Inzai Town, Chiba Prefecture, where she was training.
In a statement released on Monday, USA Gymnastics confirmed that a replacement athlete for the women’s artistic gymnastics team had tested positive and that “the local government has determined that the affected replacement athlete and another replacement athlete will be subject to additional quarantine restrictions ”.
“As a result, on Monday, the Olympic athletes moved to separate accommodation and a separate training center, as originally planned, and will continue their preparation for the Games,” the team said.
While several overseas athletes have tested positive for the virus since arriving in Japan, the gymnast was the first known case of COVID-19 among Olympians in the United States. Another American gymnast was isolating herself in her hotel room after health officials determined they had been in close contact with the young woman who tested positive.
The COVID-positive U.S. gymnast was first suspected of being infected with the virus on Sunday, and another test at a hospital early Monday confirmed the result, according to Inzai officials. The US team of 10 athletes had been screened for the virus daily since arriving in Japan on Thursday. They had only left their hotel to train using a designated bus, the city said.
Tennis phenomenonSunday that she too had tested positive and would not be competing in the Games. Gauff revealed his test just days after losing point guard Bradley Beal from USA Basketball. He was placed on COVID health and safety protocols due to possible close contact late last week.
All will be big losses for the United States team, but it’s just curveballs in what has already been an incredibly shaky start to this year’s Olympics.
As more Olympic teams descended on the Japanese capital over the weekend, two South African soccer players tested positive for the virus, becoming the first athletes with confirmed infections inside the Olympic village.
The South African Football Association said the entire squad had been quarantined – with their first game just three days away. They will only be allowed to compete if they are all negative six hours before the match.
Japanese channel Kyodo TV reported on Monday that an anonymous member of the U.S. gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19 in Japan, in addition to a beach volleyball player from the Czech team.
While Olympics officials said there was “no” chance the Games would trigger a super-spread event, most Japanese did not buy this line. Two separate information polls over the weekend showed an overwhelming majority of residents remain skeptical about the possibility of holding the Games safely.
Outside the village, the sprawling city of nearly 14 million people is facing its own push. Tokyo has had five consecutive days with more than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus until they plunged again on Monday. The weekly average of new cases jumped more than 45% last week.
A major sponsor, Toyota, withdrew its publicity for the Tokyo Olympics and said its president would not attend the opening ceremony on Friday – a sign of the stigma associated with the troubled Games.
Local opposition to the Games is not the only challenge this week. Authorities have also issued the city’s first heatstroke alert so far this year, encouraging athletes to drink more water to account for the Olympics which, on top of everything else, could be the Games. hottest in decades.