Olympics-Speed skating-Team USA puts on brave face as member awaits more COVID tests – Metro US

Olympics-Speed skating-Team USA puts on brave face as member awaits more COVID tests

Speedskating: 2022 US Olympic Trials – Long Track
Speedskating: 2022 US Olympic Trials – Long Track

BEIJING (Reuters) – Members of the top-ranked men’s USA speed skating team put on a brave face despite missing a member of their team on the ice rink in Beijing due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Team USA speed skater Casey Dawson said that he will miss his individual races at the Beijing Winter Games because he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago.

He started testing negative this past week, but with a change in the rules that required four consecutive negative tests rather than the two that he initially thought was required, he has been unable to travel to Beijing for the Games, he said on Instagram on Thursday.

“I think we’re hoping to get Casey here and even if we don’t we still have a good shot at winning the team pursuit,” said team mate Joey Mantia after a training session at the National Speed Skating Oval on Friday.

“We do need him as part of our strategy but it’s not a make or break type situation in terms of ‘Oh we can’t even medal if he’s not here,'” he said.

Dawson said that he had tested negative twice in a row, which he said “was the general consensus” for the requirement to leave for Beijing.

“Everything was good until I received news that they now require four negative tests to even consider sending me over,” he said.

The U.S. men’s team pursuit is currently ranked No. 1 in world rankings, with a line-up that includes Dawson, Mantia, and Emery Lehman. The team set a world record in December for the men’s team pursuit event.

Dawson spoke of the difficulties of navigating the strict COVID-19 protocols that the Winter Games is held under in his post.

“It’s hard to … trust anyone, even people in the highest of positions, when they can’t even provide you with the correct information,” he said.

“I was lost, and am still lost, but I know none of this is in my control. All I can do is continue to train, and keep the dream in sight for the team pursuit,” he added.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)