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Olympian moved from COVID isolation facility after tearful plea for help

A Winter Olympian has been allowed to leave a COVID isolation facility after filming a tearful plea for help on Instagram.

Skeleton racer Kim Meylemans tested positive for COVID when she arrived in China for the 2022 Winter Olympics, meaning she had to enter isolation before being able to move to the Yanqing Olympic Village.

The Belgian expected to be moved there on Wednesday, but was instead taken to another isolation facility, where she was told she would need to stay for another 14 days.

The 25-year-old released a tearful video on her Instagram in a plea for help, as official training for the women’s skeleton is due to begin next week.


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Jamaican bobsleigh heroes off to Winter Olympics

“I am not even sure I will ever be allowed to return to the village,” she said, adding that she wasn’t sure she could “handle” any more isolation.

But in another video update yesterday evening, she revealed the situation had changed, and that she’d be taken to Yanqing to complete her isolation.

She will stay in an isolated wing and will need to take COVID tests for seven days before she can be released, as Chinese authorities maintain extremely tough restrictions to contain any outbreaks of the virus.

“I feel safe, and I’ll be able to train a little better here,” she said.

“It seems like the video and the efforts of my Olympic Committee have really paid off.”

International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Christian Klaue tweeted he was “relieved” to hear that she was now in the Olympic Village.

“We are glad that all the efforts led to the successful resolution of this situation,” he said.

Meylemans thanked her Instagram followers on her story, saying she would use the rest of her time in isolation to respond to messages of support.

She finished 14th in her Olympic debut in 2018. So far this season, she has won a bronze medal in the World Cup skeleton races.

The Beijing Winter Olympics has faced controversy already after Britain, the US, and several other countries announced a diplomatic boycott in protest of human rights abuses.

Read more:
Future of Winter Olympics and snow sports on thin ice
Beijing Winter Olympics becomes a fortress with ‘closed-loop system’ amid COVID fears


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