Will Athletes Who Recently Tested Positive For Covid – Including Shaun White, Alysa Liu – Be Allowed Entry?


A number of U.S. Olympic team members and hopefuls have recently revealed that they tested positive for Covid-19 roughly a month before the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics, raising the specter that some may not be able to gain entry into China due to the country’s tightened border restrictions amid a worldwide omicron surge.

Key Facts

Olympic team figure skater Alysa Liu dropped out of the U.S. Figure Skating Championship last week after testing positive for Covid-19, while ski team member and two-time gold medalist  Mikaela Shiffrin revealed a Covid-19 diagnosis in late December, and four-time Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, who has yet to clinch a spot for Beijing, tested positive last month as well.

Athletes who recover from Covid-19 this month will be allowed to enter China and compete with supplemental documents in addition to the required negative tests for entry into the country, according to the International Olympic Committee’s Beijing 2022 Playbook.

They need to submit proof of two negative Covid-19 tests taken 24 hours apart after their recovery and a medical certificate of their infection and recovery, which will be reviewed by Beijing Olympics officials who will decide if they’re eligible for entry.

All athletes must test negative for the virus twice within 96 hours of their flight to China in order to enter the country.

Athletes who aren’t fully vaccinated will need to quarantine for 21 days after arriving in China, which some Olympians like Swiss snowboarder Patrizia Kummer intend to do.


Athletes will be tested for Covid-19 daily in Beijing, and those who test positive that have Covid-19 symptoms will be taken to a designated hospital for treatment, while those who are asymptomatic will be required to stay at an isolation facility.

Big Number

120. That’s how many athletes have been announced to be a part of the U.S. Winter Olympic Team so far, according to NBC Sports, and this number is set to increase over the next few weeks. At the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, 244 athletes represented Team U.S.A.

Key Background

Following the one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the International Olympic Committee created guidelines on how to conduct the Games amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which included asking athletes to minimize physical interaction by social distancing and avoiding handshakes or high-fives and creating a transport system for athletes. Some of the protocols for the Beijing Olympics, including two pre-departure tests, are similar to the ones put in place for the Tokyo Games. Despite the strict protocols, a number of athletes tested positive for the virus after landing in Tokyo last year, including U.S. tennis star Coco Gauff and U.S. gymnastics alternate Kara Eaker. The recent surge in coronavirus cases fueled by the omicron variant has raised concerns from some nations like Switzerland over the Beijing Games, however, the IOC has promised that the Olympics will go ahead as planned.

Further Reading

2022 Winter Olympics: Beijing To Allow In-Person Spectators From Mainland China Only (Forbes)

Canada Joins Diplomatic Boycott Of Beijing Olympics. Here Are All The Countries Participating. (Forbes)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberleespeakman/2022/01/11/beijing-olympics-will-athletes-who-recently-tested-positive-for-covid–including-shaun-white-alysa-liu–be-allowed-entry/