(The Hill) — U.S. figure skater Vincent Zhou confirmed on his Instagram page on Monday that he will be withdrawing from the Beijing Winter Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 just a day before he was set to take part in the Men’s Short program.
A visibly emotional Zhou posted a five-minute-long video on his personal Instagram page and said he was still processing the news.
“It seems pretty unreal that of all the people it would happen to, it’d be myself,” he said.
“That’s not just because I’m still processing this turn of events but also because I have been doing everything in my power to stay free of COVID since the start of the pandemic. I’ve taken all the precautions I can. I’ve isolated myself so much that the loneliness I’ve felt the last month or two has been crushing at times,” he said.
He had initially tested positive as part of a routine COVID-19 screening and underwent further testing.
Zhou added that “this absolutely does not define me as an athlete as a person” and said, “I am more than just another positive COVID test.”
The Brown University student was originally scheduled to compete in the Men’s Short competition alongside six-time U.S. champion Nathan Chen and two-time reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.
The 21-year-old was also part of the U.S. ice skating team that won a silver medal on Sunday. Zhou, however, could not attend the medal ceremony after he tested positive for the virus.
He added that he hoped to have the opportunity to represent Team USA at the World Championships in March this year.