Cross-country skiers Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvå have tested positive for the coronavirus, a week and a half before the Olympics start.
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– It is a situation that is terrible for a team and terribly shocking for those concerned, says Øystein Andersen, cross-country doctor.
He has received consent from Weng and Kalvå to publish their names. VG reported earlier on Wednesday that there was an infection in the Norwegian cross-country squad.
– It is an incredibly sad situation and horrible for those who are infected, says cross-country manager Espen Bjervig.
On Monday, it became known that Arild Monsen, the men’s sprint coach, tested positive for the coronavirus on his way home from the collection in Seiser Alm.
It has created great uncertainty in the cross-country squad, and all athletes and support staff took PCR tests in Italy on Monday. Two of these have turned out positively.
– There are no athletes who will travel to the Olympics tomorrow as planned. Departure is postponed. When is not completely clarified, says Bjervig.
Weng has been Norway’s second strongest behind Therese Johaug this winter. She showed strength in the Tour de Ski by becoming number three overall and winning the last stage.
After the tour, Weng said that she should isolate herself in Norway, not even meet her boyfriend, before leaving for the gathering in Seiser Alm.
Weng has since the pandemic started been open about fear of infection and that she thinks it has been uncomfortable to travel around to go cross-country skiing.
Weng has used visors on planes and often two face masks. Throughout the pandemic, she has opened doors with her elbow. In the press zone, she has been extra careful to keep her distance.
“I can do nothing more than be very careful,” Weng said at a press conference on Monday.
The corona alarm went off in the Norwegian Olympic squad when sprint coach Arild Monsen tested positive on his return trip to Norway.
– I had an interval today and it went well. I was very happy with that, Weng said on Monday.
Kalvå was selected for his first Olympics at the age of 29. She joined the China squad with three races top 15 in the Tour de Ski.
– It is very boring that it happens now, when we have recovered for so long. I hope and believe the rest of us save away, said Kalvå about the infection to Monsen on Monday.
Men’s runners and trainer Eirik Myhr Nossum were defined as close contacts and quarantined in Italy after Monsen’s infection.
The first exercise (joint start with ski change) for the women is 5 February and the men’s is 6 February. A positive test so close to the Olympics that will now make it difficult to get to China.
Before departure, everyone must take two negative PCR tests during the last four days before departure.
If you have been diagnosed with an infection during the last 30 days before departure, you must test negative twice more during the last days before departure. There should be 24 hours between each of the tests that are performed, Olympiatoppen’s medical officer, Aasne Fenne Hoksrud, has stated.