Story at a glance

  • An alternate gymnast on the U.S. Olympic team tested positive for COVID-19 at a training facility in Japan.
  • “In alignment with local rules and protocols, the athlete has been transferred to a hotel to quarantine,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
  • Four alternates — Leanne Wong, Kayla DiCello, Emma Malabuyo and Kara Eaker — traveled to the Olympics with six others on the team’s main roster, including Simone Biles.

An alternate gymnast on the U.S. Olympic team tested positive for COVID-19 at a training facility in Japan, USA Gymnastics said Monday. 

“One of the replacement athletes for the women’s artistic gymnastics team received a positive COVID test on Sunday, July 18. After reviewing the implemented COVID protocols with members of the delegation, the local government determined that the affected replacement athlete and one other replacement athlete would be subject to additional quarantine restrictions,” the statement said, according to The Associated Press.

The unnamed athlete adds to the growing number of Olympians testing positive for the virus, ahead of the delayed summer games. At least three athletes have tested positive thus far. 

“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 United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement, per the AP. 

“In alignment with local rules and protocols, the athlete has been transferred to a hotel to quarantine,” the statement continued. “Out of respect for the individual’s privacy, we cannot provide more information at this time.”


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Four alternates — Leanne Wong, Kayla DiCello, Emma Malabuyo and Kara Eaker — traveled to the Olympics with six others on artistic team’s main roster, including Simone Biles, the AP reported. The four alternates are living and training together at a facility separate from the other group. 

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin July 23 under a state of emergency in Japan. Growing numbers of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo led Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to announce the emergency, which is set to last the entirety of the games. 

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach reportedly assured Suga in a meeting last week that 85 percent of the athletes and officials living in the Olympic Village would be fully vaccinated, adding that nearly 100 percent of IOC members and IOC staff were “vaccinated or immune.”

The Tokyo Metropolitan government reported 727 news cases on Monday. More than 3,000 cases and three deaths were reported across Japan in the past day, according to Johns Hopkins University data


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Published on Jul 19, 2021