The 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, have not started yet, but things are already looking shaky. United States tennis star Coco Gauff revealed she has tested positive for COVID-19 and has pulled out of competing. She was set to lead the U.S. Olympic tennis team, abruptly bringing to a sad end one of her childhood dreams and hurting an already depleted team USA’s chances of winning gold.
The devastating news comes as we are just literally days away from the Tokyo Olympics kicking off despite the world dealing with the highly contagious delta COVID-19 variant and Japan currently dealing with a surge in cases. Gauff shared the news of her positive diagnosis via a statement on Twitter.
“I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won’t be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Gauff tweeted on Sunday (Jul.18). “It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future. I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”
The U.S. Tennis Association expressed its disappointment at the unfortunate news, “We were saddened to learn that Coco Gauff has tested positive for COVID-19 and will therefore be unable to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We wish her the best as she deals with this unfortunate situation and hope to see her back on the courts very soon. We know Coco will join all of us in rooting on the other Team USA members who will be traveling to Japan and competing in the coming days.”
The United States isn’t the only country down athletes due to the virus. Despite extra measures to ensure the athletes stay rona-free, like using disposable cardboard beds (we are not kidding) and banning fans, six British athletes are currently isolating after being deemed close contacts to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 ESPN reports. Two South African football stars currently in the Olympic Village bubble have also tested positive for COVID-19. The rest of the team has tested negative and is set to face Japan on Thursday (Jul.22).
South African rugby coach Neill Powell also tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and is considered what medical experts deem a “breakthrough infection.” The CDC states the COVID-19 vaccines are still effective at preventing infections, and most importantly, from severe illness.
“Breakthrough cases are Covid-19 infections that bypass vaccine protection. They are very rare, and many are asymptomatic. The vaccines are highly effective but don’t block every infection. Pfizer and Moderna’s phase three clinical studies found that their two-dose regimens were 95% and 94% effective at blocking Covid-19, respectively, while Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine was found to be 66% effective in its studies. All three, however, have been found to be extremely effective in preventing people from getting severely sick from Covid.”
We wish Gauff and the other athletes a speedy and full recovery.
Photo: Mike Hewitt / Getty