BEIJING (AP) — Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò is at least the second IOC member who has tested positive for COVID-19 and been placed in isolation at the Beijing Games.
Malagò leads the organizing committee for the next Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in 2026 and was planning on carrying out a key observational role at this year's Olympics. He hopes to recover in time to take part in the official handover to Milan-Cortina at the closing ceremony on Feb. 20.
Two-time Olympic hockey medalist Emma Terho, the IOC’s most senior athlete representative, is also in an isolation hotel after testing positive on arrival.
CONI, the Italian committee, said Malagò is “completely asymptomatic” but was placed “under medical observation” at a dedicated facility" with "other IOC members.” CONI added Wednesday that no Italian athletes or other team representatives have tested positive upon arrival.
However, six-time Olympic fencing champion Valentina Vezzali, the Italian government’s cabinet undersecretary in charge of sports, has not been able to travel to China after testing positive back in Italy.
It’s been a rough start to the Beijing Games for Italy, which had defending downhill champion Sofia Goggia crash last month, leaving her unable to carry out her duties as the country’s flagbearer at Friday’s opening ceremony.
While Goggia is still hoping to compete in Beijing, defending snowboardcross gold medalist Michela Moioli will now carry the flag at the opening ceremony.
Casa Italia, CONI’s renowned hospitality facility at Olympics, is operating at two different sites for the 2022 Games — one in Beijing and another in Yanqing near the Alpine skiing venue.
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