Tony Estanguet, leader of Paris 2024, catches Covid and cannot travel to the Beijing 2022 Games

Princess Anne of England will also not be at the Winter Olympics due to “travel restrictions”, and will participate via online in the IOC Session, as happened in Tokyo.

Compartir
Compartir articulo
FILE PHOTO: Paris 2024 Games chief Tony Estanguet poses after a news conference on Olympics preparations in Paris, France, December 17, 2020.   REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Paris 2024 Games chief Tony Estanguet poses after a news conference on Olympics preparations in Paris, France, December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

The president of the organizing committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Tony Estanguet, will not attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, having been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Estanguet, winner of three Olympic gold medals in canoeing, is suffering from “mild symptoms,” Paris 2024 told AFP news agency.

The French executive had planned to be in Beijing during the first part of the Games, in an agenda that included taking organizational experiences directly. This will be the last Olympic event before the Parisian mega-event in two and a half years.

According to Paris 2024, the general director of the organizing committee, Etienne Thobois, could travel to observe the development of these Games with a reduced team.

This summer, Tony Estanguet, Olympic champion in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and London 2012, went to Tokyo for last summer’s Olympic Games, postponed a year because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past four days, China detected 119 cases of COVID-19 among athletes and staff involved in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The weekend report showed 37 cases on Sunday and 34 on Saturday, with most testing positive after arrival at the airport, Games organizers said Monday.

Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova said she was saying goodbye to the Games after testing positive twice after arriving in Beijing.

Eight athletes or team officials were among 28 people who tested positive on arrival at the airport on Sunday.

Finland’s Emma Terho, a member of the International Olympic Committee who heads the IOC’s athlete commission, also tested positive and said she has been isolated since the weekend.

Some 3,000 athletes, along with coaches, officials, federation delegates and media are expected for the Feb. 4-20 Games.

The restrictive “closed-circuit” formula applied by organizers will allow them to move between accommodation and Olympic venues by official transport, but not to move freely in public.

Several athletes have also tested positive ahead of their arrival , such as the world’s leading ski jumper , Marita Kramer of Austria, who is still hoping to recover in time for her competition after testing positive in Germany, Reuters noted.

Russian skeleton racers, Olympic silver medalist Nikita Tregubov and Vladislav Semyonov, will miss the Games after testing positive before leaving for the Olympic venue.

However the Australian curling team took a deep breath after Tahli Gill tested negative twice following an initial positive in the Chinese capital on Sunday. Gill and teammate Dean Hewitt had been isolated for two days.

Britain’s Princess Anne, an IOC member since 1988, will not travel to the Chinese Olympic capital due to Covid-19′s “travel restriction difficulties,” Buckingham Palace announced.

The Queen’s only daughter became the royal’s first Olympic athlete when she competed in the three-day equestrian at the 1976 Montreal Games. Prior to that, she won a gold medal in 1971 and two silver medals in 1975 at the European Eventing Championships.

Britain's Anne, Princess Royal, attends a reception for winners of The Queen's Awards for Enterprise, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, Britain November 10, 2021. Chris Jackson/ Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Anne, Princess Royal, attends a reception for winners of The Queen's Awards for Enterprise, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, Britain November 10, 2021. Chris Jackson/ Pool via REUTERS

She was president of the International Equestrian Federation from 1986 to 1994, headed the IOC Nominations Committee in 2014 and 2015 and has chaired the IOC Membership Election Commission since 2015. She is president of the British Olympic Association.

According to the Daily Mail, last month, the 71-year-old Princess Royal, who lives in Gatcombe Park with her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy J. Hamilton Laurence, met with IOC representatives to discuss her role in the Games.

In December, the United Kingdom announced that it was joining the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics and would not send ministers or officials to China.

For reasons of travel restrictions, Princess Anne also did not attend the Tokyo Olympics or the corresponding IOC Session.

For the 139th IOC Session in Beijing on February 3 and 19, several IOC members will participate online and others in person.

According to The Telegraph, Buckingham Palace said in a statement, “The Princess Royal is disappointed that she will not be able to attend the IOC meetings in Beijing ahead of this year’s Winter Olympics, nor the Games themselves.

“This is due to the difficulties of Covid’s flight and travel restrictions in getting to and from the Games without losing too much of her busy work schedule at home.

“His Royal Highness sends his best wishes for the Games to the British athletes and supporting officials.”