Arild Monsen has tested positive for the coronavirus – less than two weeks before the Olympics start. The ski association is now working hard to map close contacts and possible quarantines. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is among those who can have their Olympic trip postponed.
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Monsen, who is the coach for Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and the other ski sprinters, tested positive for an antigen test on arrival at Gardermoen on Sunday when he returned home from the altitude collection in Seiser Alm. Monsen also tested positive for PCR testing today (Monday).
Monsen has been gathering for just over two weeks in the heights in northern Italy.
The Olympic athletes in cross-country skiing are still in Seiser Alm. Everyone tested negative on quick tests yesterday and today. Monday awaits PCR test. They fly to Norway on Wednesday, before the Olympic squad is scheduled to fly to China on Thursday. The first exercise for the ski men is 6 February.
– I was shocked, and feel incredibly sorry for Arild. It is very sad, says cross-country manager Espen Bjervig, who is in Norway, to VG.
– It was the worst that could happen. Infection in the squad so close to leaving the Olympics, says Bjervig.
Eirik Myhr Nossum, national team coach for the all-rounders, shared a room with Monsen and is in close contact.
– Of course a kind of shock to get the message for everyone, but for now we are preparing for what comes in the best possible way, Nossum says to VG.
The ski association is working hard to map close contacts now and find out what it is like with quarantines.
In Italy, quarantine does not apply to close contacts if you have taken a booster dose or have been vaccinated within the last four months (120 days). If you are outside it, there is a requirement for a five-day quarantine and a negative test.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is among those who risk quarantine if he is considered close contact. Then he may not be able to catch the Beijing plane that leaves on January 27, and will have to board the plane on January 31.
– It can happen. But now we are working hard. The worst outcome is five days in Italy, but a new flight leaves on 31 January. Then he can make it, says Bjervig.
The men’s runners only train around the hotel on Mondays, while the women train as usual as they are not defined as close contacts.
Arild Monsen and national team doctor Øystein Andersen did not respond to VG’s inquiries on Monday morning.
Ole Morten Iversen, national team coach for the women, had the same journey home as Monsen, but tested negative.
– Obviously surprised, but at the same time you can not be surprised by a positive test these days, Iversen writes in an SMS to VG.
Last week, the jumpers Daniel-André Tande and Johann André Forfang tested positive. It is thus uncertain whether they will reach the Olympics. Two negative tests during the last four days before departure applies to those who want to enter China during the Olympics.
Positive PCR test before departure means entry ban to China. The Olympic Summit, in collaboration with other nations, has set up two departures by charter flight to Beijing, 27 and 31 January.
If an athlete, trainer or leader has been diagnosed with coronary heart disease in the last 30 days before the first Olympic competition, he or she must take two negative tests at 24-hour intervals – in addition to the mandatory two, and more than 24 hours before these.
Every day for the last 14 days before departure – via an application on the smartphone – everyone must register the “current” health situation.