Kim Meylemans, a skeleton racer, will test her skills in isolation for seven days following a social media post
Kim Meylemans, a Belgian skeleton racing competitor, was allowed to enter one the Olympic villages on Thursday morning. This was hours after Meylemans had posted on social media her frustration at being isolated due to virus concerns.
Meylemans was positive for COVID-19 at her Beijing Olympics arrival. She had to be isolated and return several negative results before she could move into Yanqing Olympic Village. She believed that Wednesday was the day and she boarded an ambulance to ride to that village.
“But the ambulance went into another facility,” Meylemans wrote in an Instagram post. This quickly gained attention and raised questions about Meylemans’ mental health.
Belgian Olympic officials intervened, and the International Olympic Committee brought Meylemans to Yanqing Village. She will remain in isolation and needs seven more days of testing before being released from the Yanqing Village wing.
Despite this, she is still among Olympians and said that she felt immediately safer.
Olav Spahl, leader of the Belgian Olympic delegation said that Kim was our main goal. We are happy that this has been achieved. While we understand the importance of COVID to ensure the safety and health for participants at the Games, we feel that the athlete should be the focus of any such approach.
After hearing about Meylemans’ video and her movement to another isolation center Wednesday, the IOC seemed to agree.
Christian Klaue, an IOC spokesperson, tweeted that he was relieved to learn that Kim Meylemans has now arrived at the Olympic Village. “We are happy that all our efforts have led to a successful resolution of the situation.”
Meylemans finished 14th at her first Olympics in Pyeongchang 2018, but she is expected to be a stronger competitor at the Beijing Games. Meylemans has one World Cup race medal, a bronze. She was sixth in five of six races on this circuit.
Next week will see the official training of women’s skeleton, and competition on February 12. Wednesday was a moment when Meylemans’ plans for competing appeared in doubt. The outlook was much brighter by Thursday morning.
Meylemans stated that “it seems like the video has paid off and the efforts made by my Olympic committee have really paid off.”