With the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics less than a week away, the world’s attention has been focused on the site of the games as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on many parts of the world, including Japan.
The game’s organizers have implemented strict protocols to avoid the spread of coronavirus and these rules have led to some American athletes being forced to withdraw from the games.
Here’s a list of those American athletes:
Katie Lou Samuelson
The basketball player for WNBA’s Seattle Storm was forced to withdraw from the games on Monday after she revealed she was sick with COVID.
“Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I hope someday soon I can come back to realize that dream,” Samuelson said. “I am especially heartbroken as I am fully vaccinated and took every precaution, but I know everything will work itself out in the way it’s supposed to.”
Samuelson was slated to play for Team USA in the 3x3 women’s basketball competition before her positive coronavirus result. Jackie Young, from the Las Vegas Aces and former WBNA first overall pick, will replace her when the games commence.
The tennis world considers her to be the next big thing, but 17-year-old phenom Coco Gauff won’t be making her Olympic debut on July 23.
“I am so sad to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won’t be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Gauff said on Twitter. “It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future.”
Gauff was supposed to headline the group of four women representing Team USA in women’s tennis. The group also consisted of Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske.
Despite the Team USA Basketball team appearing to be a force to be reckoned with in the Olympics even after suffering poor exhibition losses, the team will be slightly less of a force without Bradley Beal.
The Washington Wizards star was placed in COVID-19 health and safety protocols last week along with teammate, Pistons star Jerami Grant.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Saturday that Keldon Johnson would be replacing Beal for the games.
On Monday, Zach LaVine entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols as well. While he has not yet been ruled out for the Olympics, it remains a possibility.
Currently, it is confirmed that his start with the men’s basketball team will be delayed.
“Zach LaVine has been placed under USA Basketball’s health & safety protocols & will not travel with the team to Tokyo today,” Team USA said. “We hope that Zach will be able to join the team in Tokyo later this week.”
While on the world’s stage, USA Gymnastics always dazzles viewers. Unfortunately for them, they will be without Kara Eaker, an alternate on the team after she tested positive for COVID-19.
While training in Japan, the 18-year-old vaccinated gymnast, caught coronavirus, according to her coach, Al Fong.
Along with Eaker, another alternate, Leanne Wong also tested positive for the virus.
“I feel bad for her, because like I said, she’s trained most of her life for this,” said Eaker’s father, Mark, to KSHB. “There was hope up to this point, even as an alternate. Now that the results have come back, that hope is gone.”