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U.S.O.P.C. to Require Covid Vaccine for Winter Olympics

  • September 23, 2021

Olympians from the United States who competed at the Tokyo Games this summer were encouraged, but not required, to be vaccinated against Covid-19. More than 80 percent of them ultimately got their shots.

But that option will not be available for athletes aiming to make the next round of Games.

On Wednesday, the United States Olympic Paralympic Committee announced that all athletes and team staff members who use the organization’s training centers and facilities would need to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

The organization also said that by Dec. 1 any athletes vying to represent the country at the Winter Games, which are scheduled to begin on Feb. 4 in Beijing with the Olympics followed by the start of the Paralympics on March 4, will need to show proof of vaccination to be able to join Team U.S.A.’s delegation.

The International Olympic Committee has not announced a vaccine requirement for the Beijing Games.

“The stark reality is that this pandemic is far from over,” Sarah Hirshland, the U.S.O.P.C.’s chief executive, wrote in a letter reviewed by The New York Times. “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 service to athletes.”

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