After rushing and racing millions of meters across the globe, speedskater Casey Dawson can now focus on the 1,500 that matter the most.
The American, who missed an initial flight with his team to Beijing after testing positive for COVID-19, made a last-minute, long trek to the 2022 Winter Olympics not knowing if or when he would be able to compete. But on Monday, after his unorthodox global journey, Dawson said he had arrived in Beijing and was planning to take the ice just hours later for the 1,500-meter race.
The U.S. speedskater first tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago and had struggled to get the necessary clearance to travel to Beijing. He first thought he had to produce two consecutive negative tests, but later found out it was actually four. He also dealt with issues over testing centers in Utah that had to be approved by the Chinese consulate.
Dawson finally resolved those matters and boarded a flight to Beijing, according to a tweet Monday from US Speedskating.
Dawson missed the 5,000 meters, and it looked like he could miss Tuesday’s 1,500 meters. He is also set to skate in next week’s team pursuit, where he’s part of a group that is considered a strong medal contender.
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But in an Instagram Story on Tuesday (Monday evening in the U.S.), Dawson posted a video of his plane arriving in Beijing. He posted another video from the speedskating rink about nine hours later with the caption "WE'RE HERE AND READY TO RACE."
NBC News also reported Monday he had tested negative and was planning to compete in the 1,500.
That race is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. ET.
The quarterfinals are next Sunday, with semifinals and the final two days later.
Dawson, a 21-year-old skater from Park City, Utah, has been training at the Utah Olympic Oval to stay sharp while his COVID-19 situation played out. He received his U.S. Olympic clothing and gear this past weekend.