ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss Olympic medallist and world champion Wendy Holdener is out of the final World Cup alpine ski competition of the season after a positive coronavirus test, her team said on Thursday, the latest Swiss skier to be hit by the pandemic.
Holdener, who won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, tested positive along with trainer Klaus Mayrhofer.
“Both are doing well, they’re in isolation and have undergone a PCR test as a follow-up, the results of which will be available on Friday morning,” the Swiss team said in a statement.
No other Swiss team members tested positive on Thursday evening, managers said in a statement.
Holdener and Mayrhofer were in the mountain region around the town of Lenzerheide in the Swiss Alps for the final World Cup races of the 2020-21 season that run through Sunday.
Heavy snowfall led to the cancellation of the downhill and super giant slalom events earlier in the week.
That left the giant slalom and slalom race, where Holdener had been considered a contender against favourites including Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and American Mikaela Shiffrin in a discipline in which she was runner-up in the 2017 World Championships.
Holdener won the combined World Championship race in 2017 and 2019 and is ranked fifth this year in World Cup slalom.
Swiss coronavirus cases are on the rise again, driven by variants. The nation recorded 1,750 new infections on Thursday and 23 deaths.
Switzerland’s ski team members have been sidelined by COVID-19 already this season, with three – Loic Meillard, Justin Murisier and Marco Odermatt – testing positive in November.
(Reporting by John Miller, editing by Ed Osmond)