Team USA alternate gymnast, Kara Eaker, has tested positive for COVID-19 and her father has claimed that hope is gone. Mark Eaker told KSHB, “There was hope up to this point, even as an alternate. Now that the results have come back, that hope is gone.”
On Monday, the Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced that an alternate on the women’s gymnast team had received a positive test for COVID, but her name would not be revealed due to privacy.
However, Eaker’s coach, Al Fong, later confirmed with Associated Press that Eaker had been among the athletes that tested positive for the virus while at the training camp in Japan. Additionally, Fong included the information that the 18-year-old gymnast is fully vaccinated.
In an interview with her parents, Mark and Kathrine Eaker had some words to share in relation to their daughter’s hardships. They expressed how disappointed they were in her diagnosis since their daughter had worked so long to get to this point, and now is unable to compete.
“I feel bad for her, because like I said, she’s trained most of her life for this,” said Mark. Katherine also included that she is “incredibly thankful we got her vaccinated” since Eaker is asymptomatic.
However, they included the important sentiment that people should still be taking COVID-19 seriously. The parents said, “Everyone is telling us — all the medical people are telling us — that’s to her benefit. If there’s something I could tell everybody, ‘Take this seriously.'”
Kara Eaker is among a few infected Olympians.
Unfortunately for the 2020 Olympics, this gymnast is not the only athlete that has tested positive for the virus and even more athletes are awaiting test results. CNN reported that there are 58 possible COVID-related cases due to the Olympics and there are 3 confirmed athletes that have tested positive. According to People, “Fellow alternate Leanne Wong, 17, was also placed in quarantine due to possible exposure,” but eventually tested negative.
Apparently, there are over 11,000 staff members, athletes, and spectators confined to the Olympic Village where the virus is possibly spreading. Yet, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has claimed that there is no risk for the virus to spread to Japanese residents since those who are in the Village are confined to that space. Everyone within the Olympic Village is also required to wear a face mask, regardless of vaccination status.
This outbreak has caused many people to pull out of this Olympic event and over 60% of Japanese residents do not wish to hold the Olympics in their country since Japan is still in a state of emergency. Since it is too late to cancel the event, this year’s Tokyo Games will certainly be an interesting watch.
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