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Positive Covid Cases Rising as Athletes Arrive at Beijing 2022 Olympics

Three-time Olympic bobsleigh medallist Elana Meyers Taylor has claimed she remains hopeful of being able to compete at Beijing 2022, after it was announced she has been isolated at the Games following a positive test for COVID-19. Courtesy photo

By Michael Pavitt |

Three-time Olympic bobsleigh medallist Elana Meyers Taylor has claimed she remains hopeful of being able to compete at Beijing 2022, after it was announced she has been isolated at the Games following a positive test for COVID-19.

The 37-year-old American revealed on social media that she had tested positive on Saturday (January 29), two days after arriving in the Chinese capital city.

“Getting to the Olympics is never easy, and this time, as a new mom, it has been the most challenging, but also, incredibly rewarding, to be able to show that it can still be done,” Meyers Taylor, winner of silver medals at Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 and bronze at Vancouver 2010, wrote.

“So many people, especially other moms from all walks of life, have been so supportive of my efforts to get back to the Olympics.

“It’s been an incredible wave of positivity that I’ve been riding to a while so I’m going to continue to do that.

“This is just the latest obstacle that my family and I have faced on this journey, so I’m remaining optimistic that I’ll be able to recover quickly and still have the opportunity to compete.”

Meyers Taylor was recently crowned winner of the two-woman bobsleigh World Cup, with the pilot having enjoyed a consistent season on the eight event circuit.

A victory in Sigulda with Lake Kwaza contributed to the American earning the season title.

Meyers Taylor also finished top of the Women’s Monobob World Series standings, with the event set to make its debut at Beijing 2022.

Bobsleigh events at Beijing 2022 will begin on February 13, the first of two-days of women’s monobob competition.

The two-woman event will take place on February 18 and 19 at the Xiaohaituo Bobsleigh and Luge Track, which is located in the Yanqing venue cluster.

Meyers Taylor has won medals at three consecutive Winter Olympics, including bronze in the two-woman event at Vancouver 2010.

She finished as the runner-up in the same event at Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018.

Numerous athletes have seen their Beijing 2022 hopes impacted by positive COVID-19 tests in recent days, including several medal contenders.

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) skeleton athlete Nikita Tregubov was ruled out of the Games yesterday, preventing him from adding to his Sochi 2014 silver medal.

Norwegian cross-country skiers Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvå tested positive last week, with the latter having now been replaced by Ragnhild Haga, while double Olympic gold-medallist Simen Hegstad Krüger will be unable to defend his 30 kilometres skiathlon title.

Austrian ski jumper Marita Kramer, the leader of the women’s World Cup circuit, was forced to delay her travel to the Games following a positive test.

The Czech Republic’s men’s ice hockey team have been impacted, with website iSport reporting that Šimon Hrubec and Patrik Bartošák have been unable to fly to Beijing 2022 yet, leaving Roman Will as their only goalkeeper currently on route to Beijing 2022.

The Polish Olympic Committee (PKOl) has been among the hardest hit nations to date, with short track speed skater Natalia Maliszewska, Sochi 2014 silver medallist Natalia Czerwonka and fellow speed skaters Magdalena Czyszczoń and Marek Kania having recorded positive tests in the past week.

Biathlon official Maciej Nędza-Kubiniec, coach Arkadiusz Skoneczny, head of the medical mission Hubert Krysztofiak and doctor Krzesimir Sieczych were among eight cases in the PKOI delegation to date.

An update was provided by the organisation today, confirming the athletes and officials are asymptomatic.

“The Polish Olympic Committee informs that Polish athletes and members of the representation in Beijing, staying in quarantine or in isolation, feel well,” a PKOI statement read.

“They pass the infection asymptomatically, saturation and temperature are checked daily.

“We wish you a quick recovery.”

The Swedish Curling Association announced yesterday that Sofia Mabergs, a member of their women’s team, had tested positive for COVID-19 last Thursday (January 27).

Mabergs will require three negative tests before she is cleared to travel to the Games, where she is due to be part of Anna Hasselborg’s rink.

Hasselborg’s team are seeking to defend their Olympic title.

Sweden have also been forced to amend their men’s ice hockey squad, with Emil Djuse and Erik Gustafsson replaced by Theodor Lennstrom and Philip Holm due to positive tests.

A further 18 positive tests were reported by organisers yesterday from PCR tests on 1,438 Olympic personnel arriving at the airport.

Athletes and team officials accounted for 11 cases, while seven were from other Games stakeholders.

Five athletes and team officials recorded positive tests yesterday within the closed loop, as well as one other stakeholder.

Beijing 2022 said 63,548 tests were conducted within the closed loop yesterday.

The 24 cases recorded represents a fall from previous days, with 37 cases being recorded on January 30, 34 on Saturday (January 29) and 35 on Friday (January 28).

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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