American figure skater Vincent Zhou says he's an "emotional wreck" after being forced to withdraw from the Olympics due to a positive COVID-19 test.
In an Instagram video on Monday, Zhou shared that he is withdrawing from Tuesday's men's singles competition at the Beijing Olympics because he tested positive for COVID-19. He previously competed in the men's free skate portion of the competition on Sunday but wasn't seen at the medal ceremony, according to ESPN. Team USA won a silver medal in the event.
"I have been doing everything in my power to stay free of COVID since the start of the pandemic," Zhou said. "I've taken all the precautions I can. I've isolated myself so much that the loneliness I felt in the last month or two has been crushing at times. The enormity of the situation, just the pain of it all, is pretty insane."
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The New York Times reported that Zhou's teammates were "just as surprised as he was that he had tested positive," as he "often ate alone, they said, wore N95 masks and sanitized his hands frequently." He became emotional in the video as he reflected that his "younger self would be so proud" of the athlete he's become, and he said he has "lost count of the number of times I've cried today." But he added that "at least one of those times was happy tears, and that was when I found out that I became an Olympic silver medalist. And I think that wraps things up nicely on a positive note."
The U.S. Figure Skating team said Monday it was "so proud" of Zhou, adding, "Wishing you a speedy recovery."
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