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Covid strikes twice: US skater barred from closing ceremony after missing competition
American figure skater Vincent Zhou had a terrible Beijing Olympics -- a potential medallist, he had to withdraw the day before his event after a positive Covid test. Then on Sunday, he was barred from the closing ceremony.
Finally out of isolation, Zhou was set to march with his team at the "Bird's Nest" stadium on Sunday -- but was barred as he tried to board a bus after being flagged as a close contact risk.
"I have tested negative 14 times in a row. I have antibodies and am not contagious whatsoever," Zhou wrote in frustration in an Instagram story.
"I am double masked and would be walking outdoors with the same people I am about to travel with in a couple of hours. Out of everyone marching, I would be the least at risk of transmitting to others."
Zhou had managed to make it onto Olympic ice earlier on Sunday, skating first in the traditional event-ending exhibition gala.
"I was required to take my mask off when taking the ice for the gala earlier today... but it seems that being double masked outdoors is riskier," he wrote.
"I have followed the rules and done as required with no question for as long as the rules have existed."
Zhou played a part in winning a silver medal with the US in the team event before testing positive the day before the men's single event.
He withdrew in an emotional late-night Instagram video.
"It seems pretty unreal," he said. "I've taken all the precautions I can. I've isolated myself so much that the loneliness I've felt in the last month or two has been crushing at times."