Greece’s Artistic Swimming Team Latest Athletes To Pull Out Of Tokyo Olympics Due To Covid—Here’s The Full List


Topline

Greece withdrew its artistic swimming team from the Tokyo Olympics Tuesday after four swimmers tested positive for Covid-19, the latest athletes who have had to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics due to the disease as the Summer Games kick off in the midst of the pandemic.

Key Facts

Three Greek artistic swimmers tested positive for Covid-19 on August 3 after a fourth athlete tested positive August 2, forcing the swimmers out of the competition.

Algerian weightlifter Walid Bidani was forced to drop out of Olympic competition August 3 after testing positive for Covid-19, the Algerian Press Service reports, after fellow Algerians Djamel Sedjati, a runner, and steeplechaser Bilal Tabti also withdrew from the Games over positive tests.

American pole vault champion Sam Kendricks, widely considered a medal contender, withdrew from the competition after testing positive on July 29, which sent Australia’s entire athletics team into isolation as a precautionary measure.

Two members of Trinidad and Tobago’s athletics team—long jumper Andwuelle Wright and 400m hurdler Sparkle Ann McKnight—and the team’s athletics coach, Wendell Williams, tested positive for Covid-19, the country’s Olympics committee announced on Friday, July 30.

Italian rower Bruno Rosetti won a bronze medal despite missing the final race due to a positive Covid-19 test, becoming the first athlete to take advantage of the IOC’s new rules that state an athlete participating in preliminaries but not the final can still receive a medal.   

Argentinian pole vaulter German Chiaraviglio also confirmed his exit from the contest after testing positive for coronavirus on July 29.

Dutch tennis players Jean-Julien Rojer and partner Wesley Koolhof withdrew after Rojer became one of three athletes July 26 to test positive for Covid-19 (the other two athletes’ identities are so far undisclosed).

Golfers Jon Rahm of Spain and Bryson DeChambeau of the U.S. (The No. 1 and No. 8 male golfers in the world, respectively) were diagnosed with coronavirus during testing before the athletes were set to depart for Tokyo, USA Golf and the Spanish Olympic Committee said July 25.

Four Czech athletes—beach volleyball players Ondřej Perušič and Markéta Sluková-Nausch, table tennis player Pavel Sirucek and cyclist Michal Schlegel—have now tested positive for Covid-19, prompting an investigation into the chartered flight the delegation took.

German cyclist Simon Geschke tested positive for Covid-19 despite displaying no symptoms and being fully vaccinated and has described some of the trickier aspects of quarantine in Tokyo, especially the “basic” food provided for a vegan.  

U.S. men’s beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb tested positive for Covid-19 in Japan, despite having been vaccinated and testing negative before leaving the U.S.

U.S. women’s gymnastics alternate Kara Eaker tested positive for Covid-19, it was announced July 20, despite her being fully vaccinated.

U.S. women’s basketball player Katie Lou Samuelson tested positive for Covid-19, she announced July 20, despite saying she was fully vaccinated and “took every precaution.”

U.S. tennis player Coco Gauff announced Sunday she would not be taking part in the Olympics, her first, after testing positive for Covid-19 on July 18.

U.S. men’s basketball player Bradley Beal is unable to compete in the Olympics after being placed under “health and safety protocols,” and ESPN reports three other U.S. basketball players also left the Olympic team—one because they tested positive for Covid-19 and two others due to “contact tracing measures.”

Skateboarder Candy Jacobs and Tae Kwon Do athlete Reshmie Oogink, both set to compete for the Netherlands, withdrew after testing positive for the virus.

British shooter Amber Hill, ranked No. 1 in women’s skeet shooting, withdrew from the Games on July 21 after testing positive.

Russian swimmer Ilya Borodin, an expected medal contender in the men’s 400-meter individual medley, will miss the Games after testing positive.

Australia’s top men’s tennis player Alex de Minaur pulled out after he tested positive before leaving for Tokyo.

Chilean Tae Kwon Do fighter Fernanda Aguirre tested positive upon arrival in Tokyo from Uzbekistan, where she had been training.

Just days before the Games kicked off, South African football players Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi tested positive on July 18, the first athletes to do so in the Olympic Village.

British tennis player Johanna Konta pulled out from the Games on July 13, citing her inability to train during a Covid-19 infection.

Serbian basketball player and expected flag bearer Sonja Vasic tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks before the Games’ start, leaving open the possibility of her playing.

Miloš Vasic, a rower on the Serbian team and Sonja’s husband, tested positive upon arrival in Tokyo in early July.   

In April, North Korea became the first country to withdraw from the Games over concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic, the first time the isolated nation skipped an Olympics since Seoul hosted them in 1988.

Big Number

More than 80%. That’s the percentage of Olympic and Paralympic athletes that are expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the International Olympic Committee projected in June. Vaccinations were encouraged but not mandatory for athletes—and at least 100 U.S. Olympians are unvaccinated—though a number of athletes have now tested positive despite being fully vaccinated.

Crucial Quote

“I think leading up to the Games we thought the situation was really under control and I was feeling really confident for a long time, and then every time you hear of another person testing positive, you get a little bit more worried about it,” April Ross, a beach volleyball player on the U.S. Olympic team, told the Today Show Monday, adding she was now “taking more and more precautions to keep my distance and try to stay safe.”

Key Background

Covid-19 has long been a concern for the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place after a yearlong delay and longstanding speculation over whether the Summer Games would be canceled entirely. Public health experts have criticized holding the Games and warned of the danger they could pose, including potentially resulting in the creation of a new coronavirus variant as athletes converge from around the world. Stringent health and safety protocols are in place for the Games, including largely banning spectators entirely—but athletes are only encouraged to be vaccinated, not required. Despite the measures in place, fears have not been alleviated as the highly transmissible Delta variant takes hold worldwide and Tokyo itself remains under a state of emergency due to a spike in Covid-19 cases. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday the “mark of success” at the Olympics will not be “zero cases,” acknowledging Covid-19 transmission will be inevitable, but said success would be defined as “making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible and onward transmission is interrupted.”

Surprising Fact

Athletes who are close contacts of those who test positive for Covid-19 may still be able to compete despite protocols requiring them to isolate themselves from others. The International Olympic Committee’s playbook directs close contacts—those who have spent at least 15 minutes with the infected person and been within a meter of them without a face mask—to be subject to additional requirements in order to compete, including daily negative PCR tests, quarantining in a private room and using dedicated vehicles and training facilities away from other athletes.

Tangent

Guinea’s government briefly withdrew the country’s five-person Olympic team from the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, citing concerns over Covid-19 variants. It reversed its decision on Thursday, with Guinea’s Minister of Sport Sanoussy Bantama Sow telling BBC Africa that officials “spoke with the organizers and they told us they will do everything to make sure our athletes will be safe.”

Further Reading

This Is What Happens When an Athlete Tests Positive for COVID-19 at the Tokyo Olympics (Time)

Tokyo 2020 Organizer Refuses To Rule Out Last-Minute Olympics Cancellation Amid Rising Covid-19 Infections (Forbes)

Did Olympic Athletes Need To Be Vaccinated? No — And Now More Are Testing Positive For Covid-19. (Forbes)

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