Sep 22, 2021 - Health

Team USA to mandate COVID vaccine for Winter Olympic hopefuls

The Olympic symbol.

The Emblem of Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at Shijingshan district in Beijing. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

American athletes looking to compete in the Winter Olympics in Beijing must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to updated guidelines posted on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) website.

Details: Employees, athletes and contractors must be vaccinated by Nov. 1 to use USOPC facilities or attend events hosted by the committee. On Dec. 1, the mandate extends "to all Team USA delegation members or hopefuls for future Games."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Ina Fried: Given that a few athletes were forced to drop out at the last minute this seems a prudent step to ensure the country has a full complement of athletes and to lessen the risk of an outbreak amid the highly contagious Delta variant.

What they're saying: "The health and well-being of our Olympic and Paralympic community continues to be a top priority," the USOPC wrote on its website.

  • "This step will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff, and allow us to restore consistency in planning, preparation and optimal service to athletes."  
  • The USOPC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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