USOPC: American hopefuls for Beijing Games must have vaccine

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U.S. athletes trying to make the Winter Olympics will have to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 under a directive announced Wednesday by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

CEO Sarah Hirshland wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that starting Nov. 1, the USOPC will require staff, athletes and others utilizing training centers and other USOPC facilities to be vaccinated. She said the requirement will also apply to the full U.S. delegation at the Olympics and Paralympics.

According to the team website, athletes will have to show proof of vaccination by Dec. 1. The U.S. is expected to send around 240 athletes to the Winter Olympics, though the mandate will impact hundreds more — anyone with hopes of making the final squad.

The International Olympic Committee has been encouraging vaccines but did not require them for athletes who competed in the Summer Olympics. With that guidance, most national Olympic committees, including the USOPC, followed suit by strongly recommending the vaccines but not requiring them. The IOC’s first “Playbook,” a booklet offering health-related and other guidance for the Winter Games, is due out next month.

Categories: Coronavirus, National News