US Olympic gymnast tests positive for COVID days before Tokyo games start

Things are starting to get messy for the U.S. Gymnastics team ahead of their conquest for Olympic gold.

On Monday, an alternate for the team tested positive for COVID-19, according to American Olympic officials. The gymnasts’ name has not been announced, but she is between the age of 10 and 19.

“The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority. We can confirm that an alternate on the women’s artistic gymnastics team tested positive for COVID-19,” the U.S Olympic and Paralympic committee said in a statement. “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 gymnast tested positive while training in Narita, which is 35 miles from Tokyo. She stayed in their travel accommodations and practiced in venues, but did not spend time in the city. However, she still contracted the virus.

Members and alternates of the U.S. womens Olympic team pose following the 2021 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic Team Trials.
Members and alternates of the U.S. women’s Olympic team pose following the 2021 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team Trials.
Kyle Okita/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA

The unknown gymnast is now the first known COVID-19 case among Olympians from the United States. Now, she will quarantine in her hotel room along with one teammate, who was deemed as a “close contact.” Kayla DiCello, Kara Eaker, Emma Malabuyo, and Leanne Wong are the four alternates for the team.

The U.S has had quite a few Olympians withdraw from the event due to COVID already. Coco Gauff, the No. 25 Women’s tennis player in the world, and basketball star Bradley Beal have been sent home already due to positive tests. Currently, there have been 58 COVID-19 cases linked to the Olympic Games.

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