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Biles reassures fans with pic from Olympic Village after US gymnast teammate tests positive for Covid at Tokyo Games

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A female gymnast on the USA Olympic team in Tokyo has tested positive for Covid-19, officials have confirmed, while a teammate who was in “close contact” has been placed under additional quarantine restrictions.

The pair of gymnasts were unnamed but are both alternates on the US team, meaning they are not part of the main six-woman group of Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey.  

The four alternates who traveled with the US delegation to Tokyo are all teenagers: Leanne Wong, Kayla DiCello, Emma Malabuyo and Kara Eaker.  

The gymnast’s positive test was first announced by the local government of Inzai, the Japanese city where the US women’s gymnastics team held a pre-Games training camp.  

Both the athletes affected have been moved to a hotel to quarantine while the rest of the team have headed to the Olympic Village in Tokyo.

“The Olympic athletes moved to separate lodging accommodations and a separate training facility, as originally planned, and will continue their preparation for the Games,” read a statement on Monday from USA Gymnastics.

“The entire delegation continues to be vigilant and will maintain strict protocols while they are in Tokyo.”

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Initial news about the positive test in the US team may have triggered concerns about the fate of 24-year-old icon Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist widely considered among the greatest gymnasts of all time.

Biles, however, seemed unaffected by the positive test as she posted a picture of herself at the Olympic Village alongside teammate Jordan Chiles.

Reports in the US stated that back-up team members had been training and living separately from the main six gymnasts to avoid any potential cross-contact issues in the event of a positive test – a decision which appears to have paid off in this case.  

Biles is bidding to scoop the four more medals she needs to surpass Belarusian great Vitaly Scherbo’s all-time tally of 33 medals across the Olympics and World Championships.

The positive Covid case is the first recorded by the US team in Japan, although teenage tennis star Coco Gauff was forced to withdraw from the Games after testing positive before her departure.

Overall, organizers have confirmed more than 60 positive cases among personnel connected to the Games, including athletes, media, contractors and other staff.

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