Teresa Stadlober, Katrin Beierl, and Katharina Gallhuber are not aboard the charter jet to China today for safety concerns.
The OC charter plane takes departure from Vienna-Schwechat at 1:50 p.m. on Friday, bound for Beijing. There should be 46 Austrian athletes on board, but three spots are still open. The first thing to say to cross-country great Teresa Stadlober, slalom runner Katharina Gallhuber, and bob pilot Katrin Beierl is to kindly wait.
Before boarding the plane, each member of the Olympic delegation had to go through a medical security check, which the three athletes failed. “Katrin Beierl has just recovered,” says OC chief physician Bernhard Unterkofler, “but her CT readings in the final few days were still too variable to enable her to travel to China with a clean conscience.” “Right now, the possibility of her having to be quarantined is too great. We’d like to keep her from having to go through this.”
The other two athletes both performed noticeable corona tests. “We still have to study the last test results in detail in the instance of Teresa Stadlober and Katharina Gallhuber in order to have ultimate clarity,” Bernhard Unterkofler explains.
That’s why the OC erred on the side of caution. “On a charter flight, where we have 46 active individuals and over 100 supervisors on board, caution is paramount,” explains OC chief de mission Christoph Sieber.
It is unclear when the trio will be able to fly to Beijing; this will be determined by the results of the remaining tests. “Before the Summer Games in Tokyo, we utilized very stringent restrictions and procedures. Athletes’ flights had to be rescheduled here as well. In retrospect, though, this caution was rewarded. For five weeks in Japan, we didn’t have a single incidence of corona,” said OC Secretary General Peter Mennel.