Coco Gauff exams optimistic for coronavirus and can miss the Tokyo Olympics: NPR
Coco Gauff, shown here at Wimbledon earlier this month, will not be competing in the Tokyo Olympics due to a positive coronavirus test. Alastair Grant / AP Hide caption
Alastair grant / AP
Alastair grant / AP
TOKYO – US tennis star Coco Gauff will no longer lead the US tennis team at the Tokyo Olympics. She has announced that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, which has dashed her hopes of participating in the Games.
“It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympic Games and I hope that there will be many more opportunities for me to make this happen in the future,” said the 17-year-old in a statement her Twitter account.
Gauff was named leader of the group of 12 earlier this month, the first Olympic team in a quarter of a century without Serena or Venus Williams. Team USA called it a “Changing of the Guard”.
The US Tennis Association said “the entire US Olympic contingent of tennis is heartbroken to Coco”.
“We wish her the best as she copes with this unfortunate situation and we hope to see her back on the pitch very soon,” she added, saying she knew she would stand up for her teammates.
Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske will compete for the USA in the women’s singles.
Gauff did not state whether she was vaccinated. It is possible, but less likely, that people who have been vaccinated will test positive for the coronavirus.
Thousands of athletes, coaches, officials and the media flock to Tokyo. They go through rigorous coronavirus testing before leaving their home countries and adhere to strict protocols upon arrival to maintain separation from the Japanese people and reduce the risk of an outbreak.
Still, positive cases are gradually appearing in the Olympic bubble, including two athletes from the same team. Their positive tests on Sunday made them the first known cases of athletes to test positive in the Olympic Village.