US gymnast tests positive for Covid four days before Olympic opening ceremony

Kara Eaker is alternate on women’s team and has not been in contact with gymnasts chosen to compete

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
@GustafKilander,Helen Elfer
Monday 19 July 2021 15:32
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The US gymnastics team arrive in Tokyo

A US gymnast has tested positive for Covid-19, four days before the Olympic opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Kara Eaker is one of the four alternates on the women’s team and is reported to have tested positive for the virus on Monday. While her name was not initially released by Japanese officials for reasons of privacy, her identity was later confirmed by her coach Al Fong.

KSHB reports that Ms Eaker is feeling fine and is asymptomatic. Ms Eaker has previously told the channel that she had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The team’s four alternates, who along with Ms Eaker are Kayla DiCello, Emma Malabuyo and Leanne Wong, have been rooming and training together, but are not thought to have been in close contact with the six gymnasts chosen to represent the US at this year’s games.

Meanwhile, the regular team members, including defending Olympic champion Simone Biles, have all posted images of themselves in the Olympic village on social media since the news of the gymnast’s positive test, indicating there is not thought to be a risk of infection.

Ms Eaker was training in Narita, 35 miles east of Tokyo, when she tested positive for the virus, and is now isolating in a hotel, reports the Daily Mail.

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement that Japanese regulations were being adhered to.

“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 statement said.

The women’s gymnastics team has already had a Covid scare this week, after an unidentified athlete’s test returned a ‘false positive.’ USA Gymnastics confirmed that her subsequent tests were negative.

The rest of Team USA – Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, Mykayla Skinner, Jade Carey, and Grace McCallum – have all been vaccinated, although it is unknown whether all four alternates have been too.

Athletes were not required to have received the Covid vaccination in order to travel to Tokyo for the Olympics.

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