Olympics: US figure skater Zhou out after COVID test

BEIJING — U.S. men’s figure skater Vincent Zhou has tested positive for the coronavirus, and is out of the individual competition. In a five-minute video posted to Instagram on Monday night, a teary Zhou announced that he would have to withdraw. He had initially tested positive as part of a routine COVID-19 screening, and underwent additional testing.

In his video on Instagram, Zhou mentioned how surprised he was that his Olympic moment would go down this path. He said "It seems pretty unreal that of all the people that it would happen to, it happened to myself."

"I have been doing everything in my power to stay free of COVID since the start of the pandemic. I’ve taken all the precautions I can. I have isolated myself so much that the loneliness I have felt in the last month or two has been crushing at times. The enormity of the situation, just the pain of it all is pretty insane…"

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A post shared by Vincent Zhou (@govincentzhou)

He goes on to say, "This absolutely does not define me. as an athlete, as a person. I am more than just another positive COVID test."

"To the future Vincent watching this, your younger self would be so proud of the athlete and person you’ve become now. The little 8-year-old you would be asking 21-year-old you for photos and autographs and everything.

You know why? Because you lived out your dreams. You became the person you always aspired to be. When you were young sitting on the couch watching those great skaters on TV, studying their jumps every night at the dinner table and waking up at 4 a.m. or earlier to go into the rink and skate, and do double jumps. You had no idea what you were getting into. But you had a dream, and you followed it. You made sacrifices for it. You dedicated your life to it. And today, you are that person Vincent. You made it happen. So be proud of that."

The 21-year-old had struggled through a poor free skate for the eventual team silver medalists a day before, and was due to compete in the individual competition that begins with the men’s short program on Tuesday.