2 women from the Norwegian Olympic cross-country team have COVID-19


OSLO (AP) — Two members of Norway’s women’s cross-country ski team have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the Beijing Olympics next month, the team announced Wednesday.

Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvå contracted COVID-19 during a training camp at the Italian alpine resort of Seiser Alm and are now in isolation.

Norwegian cross-country manager Espen Bjervig said in a video call that his participation in the Olympics was uncertain.

Team doctor Øystein Andersen said Italian rules mean Weng and Kalvå will be isolated for 10 days, until February 3. The opening ceremony will take place on February 4 and the Olympic cross-country ski program will begin the following day.

“It’s a shocking situation,” Andersen said.

Weng is the highest ranked Norwegian and a five-time world champion.

“We have a reserve in the squad, and we also have other athletes who are accredited and can be ready,” Bjervig said of possible replacements. “But fundamentally now the focus is on opportunities for those who have been removed.”

Norway is the leading nation in cross-country skiing, with its women’s team winning three of the six events on the program at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

The team had planned to leave for Beijing on Thursday but will now be delayed.

The entire men’s team is also in isolation at Seiser Alm after head coach Arild Monsen tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Norway on Monday.

The eight team members were identified as a close contact of Monsen and were awaiting PCR test results. They are now due to leave for Beijing on Monday.


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