US pole vaulting star Sam Kendricks out of Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19

Tokyo Olympics Athletics
Posted at 11:47 AM, Jul 29, 2021

TOKYO — American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, a two-time world champion, has been forced to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced the 28-year-old athlete’s positive test in a statement on Twitter Wednesday night.

The committee says Kendricks has been transferred to a hotel to be placed in isolation and he’s being supported by the U.S. track and field staff.

“Sam is an incredible and accomplished member of Team USA, and his presence will be missed,” wrote the committee.

Kendricks, who won the bronze medal in the last Olympics, was considered a contender for the gold this summer.

It’s unclear at this time if the U.S. record holder is vaccinated against COVID-19.

Kendricks’ positive test affected other athletes as well, including the entire Australian track team which spent time in a brief quarantine due to three athletes reportedly coming in contact with the American. Those three people tested negative, and the team has returned to normal activities, according to a statement.

As for other Americans, it’s unknown who came in contact with Kendricks, but USA Track and Field said in a statement that his close contacts were immediately notified of the positive test.

“We are following the USOPC and TOCOG's guidance on next steps to ensure the safety of the remainder of our delegation, and to offer support to Sam,” USA Track and Field wrote.

The track and field competition is set to begin on Friday.