TOKYO (AP) — About 100 of the 613 U.S. athletes descending onare unvaccinated, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s medical chief said night’s opening ceremony. Medical director Jonathan Finnoff said 567 American as they prepared for the trip, and an estimated 83% had replied they were vaccinated. “Eighty-three percent is a substantial number, and we’re quite happy with it,” Finnoff said. Nationally, 56.3% of , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The IOC has estimated. The USOPC figure is more solid — based on questionnaires athletes were to complete before coming to Japan. Finnoff said the committee is not differentiating its treatment of . “The best thing to do is to assume everyone’s at risk and by introducing COVID mitigation measures that we know work,” he said.
So far, two American athletes — beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb and Kara Eaker, an alternate on the gymnastics team — are known to have. The IOC has reported 13 positives among all athletes in Japan. The was the biggest news of an hourlong Q&A with USOPC leadership — a far different affair from the last pre-Olympic news conference. At the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, that one was dominated by talk of the federation’s handling of sex-abuse cases in the wake of the trial of doctor Larry Nassar. The USOPC leadership has almost completely turned over since then.
Susanne Lyons is the new chair, Sarah Hirshland is the new CEO, and Rick Adams is the new chief of sports performance. Part of the USOPC’s reboot involved deemphasizing the quest for medals and focusing more on athlete health and welfare. The U.S. has led the since 1996, the Olympics after the old Soviet team disbanded. But Hirshland is well aware that her performance, and the team’s, will still be judged at some level on medals. “Is the U.S. coming here ? You bet we are,” Hirshland said.
All expectations, however, are tempered by the reality that acould turn plans upside down. “Athletes have adjusted to being comfortable being uncomfortable,” Adams said. “They’ve been experiencing it, and over the next 17 days, the expectation is to set expectations around things that could change.” Calling all HuffPost superfans!