U.S. figure skater Vincent Zhou said on Sunday Feb. 20, 2022, that he was marked as a Covid-19 “close contact” risk and was banned from the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

He took to his Instagram account to express his frustration with the organizers’ decision.

“Before boarding the bus to the stadium, they flagged me as a COVID ‘close contact’ risk and would not allow me to proceed further,” Zhou wrote. “I have tested negative 14 times in a row. I have antibodies and am not contagious whatsoever. I am 100% healthy and normal. I am double masked and would be walking outdoors with the same people I am about to travel with in a couple of hours. Out of everyone marching, I would be the least at risk of transmitting to others.”

Zhou later added that “I was required to take my mask off when taking the ice for the gala earlier today with 40 other people who were also maskless indoors. But it seems that being double masked outdoors is riskier.”

Zhou then expressed his gratitude to his fans and supporters, adding that “It has been the honor of my life to represent team USA at the 2022 Beijing Olympics alongside my incredible teammates. I am endlessly grateful for the opportunities that came my way during these games.”

According to U.S. figure skating on Feb 7, Zhou was out of the men’s singles skating event after testing positive for COVID-19. Zhou previously competed in the team competition at the beginning of the Winter Olympics and helped Team USA win the silver medal.

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