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USOPC: American hopefuls for Winter Olympics must be vaccinated

Team USA Vaccines
Posted at 5:28 PM, Sep 22, 2021

U.S. athletes trying to make the Winter Olympics will have to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 under a directive announced Wednesday by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

CEO Sarah Hirshland wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that starting Nov. 1, the USOPC will require staff, athletes, and others utilizing training centers and other USOPC facilities to be vaccinated.

She said the requirement will also apply to the full U.S. delegation at the Olympics and Paralympics.

According to the team website, athletes will have to show proof of vaccination by Dec. 1.

"The health and well-being of our Olympic and Paralympic community continues to be a top priority," officials said. "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 optimal service to athletes."

According to the Associated Press, 240 U.S. athletes are expected to be sent to the Winter Olympics.

In her letter, Hirshland added that there would be a process for an exemption to be applied for by the athletes, the AP reported.