Team USA’s Vincent Zhou has withdrawn from Beijing 2022 after a second covid test was confirmed as positive leaving fans wanting to know whether the skater has been vaccinated.
Vincent Zhou unexpectedly announced he had withdrawn from the Winter Olympics on Monday, 7 February via an Instagram video after testing positive for covid-19.
The athlete placed third with a score of 171.44 on Saturday (5 February) for his free-skate performance, boosting USA’s overall team event score by eight points.
He received the unfortunate news about the positive test afterwards, however, so was unable to attend the ceremony the following day when Team USA received their silver medals.
After a second positive test, the 21-year-old was forced to withdraw from the men’s event on Tuesday (8 February).
- NEW: Meet Madison Chock’s parents as US skater scores first at Beijing 2022
Is Vincent Zhou vaccinated?
Although the athlete hasn’t personally confirmed his vaccination status, the entire Team USA’s committee and staff are vaccinated.
The US Olympic team’s chief medical officer, Jonathan Finnoff, told AP News all athletes travelling to the Olympic Games were fully vaccinated, with no-one requesting a medical exemption.
At the same time, Team USA have their own vaccine requirements, which have been effective since 1 November 2021: “The US Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) will require all employees, athletes, contractors and others to be fully vaccinated against covid-19 or obtain a medical or religious exemption prior to accessing USOPC facilities, and all events or activities hosted by the USOPC’s internally managed sports.”
The mandate extends to athletes for future Olympic Games.
- MORE: Jason Brown’s Beijing 2022 short program music is a hip hop sample fave
Zhou isn’t Team USA’s first positive case
Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor was supposed to lead Team USA’s athletes as flag bearer at the opening ceremony. However, her positive covid result meant she had to cheer her country in isolation.
She tested positive two days after arriving in Beijing and clarified she was asymptomatic. Her announcement came days after Josh Williamson, another US bobsledder, revealed on Instagram he didn’t board the flight to Beijing because of covid.
Bobsleigh events don’t commence until Sunday, 13 February so there remains hope both athletes can recover in time.