Days before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, an alternate for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team has tested positive for COVID-19.
The city of Inzai, the location where the gymnasts have been training, confirmed only that the athlete was a teenager and that only one other member of the team is being quarantined at this time. According to a report from ESPN, the other member of the team was an alternate, and neither Simone Biles nor any other athletes with a shot to take home gold medals were impacted.
“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 USAG said in a statement to ESPN. “Accordingly, on Monday, the Olympic athletes moved to separate lodging accommodations and a separate training facility, as originally planned, and will continue their preparation for the Games. The entire delegation continues to be vigilant and will maintain strict protocols while they are in Tokyo.”
The gymnastics alternate is the latest positive case announced before the start of the games. It was reported on Saturday that someone within the Olympic Village tested positive for the coronavirus, then on Sunday, American tennis phenom Coco Gauff announced she had to withdraw from the Olympics after she tested positive for COVID-19.
Athletes do not have to be vaccinated to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Games, but there will be constant testing throughout the competition to attempt to create a bubble within the village.
The opening ceremony kicks off the festivities on Friday and athletes from across the world are already beginning to travel to Tokyo for the Games.