Team USA was dealt a blow after figure skater Vincent Zhou was forced to withdraw from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Olympic silver medalist Vincent Zhou announced tonight that he will be unable to compete in the men’s competition at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games due to testing positive for COVID-19,” a spokesman for U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement.
Zhou was scheduled to compete in the men’s short program on Tuesday (February 8). Unfortunately, he cannot be replaced by an alternate because he withdrew too late in the process.
The 21-year-old was able to realize his dream of winning an Olympic medal before his positive test, helping Team USA earn the silver medal in the team figure skating competition.
Zhou recorded an emotional video for his fans on Instagram after learning he would have to miss the remainder of the Olympics.
“It seems pretty unreal that of all the people, it would happen to myself,” he said in the clip. “And that’s not just because I’m still processing this turn of events but also because I have been doing everything in my power to stay free of covid since the start of the pandemic.”
Zhou said that he “already lost count of the number of times I cried today. At least one of those times was happy tears, and that was when I found out that I became an Olympic silver medalist, and I think that wraps things up nicely on a positive note.”