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Team US to Mandate Vaccines for Winter Olympic

According to the United States Winter Olympic and Paralympic Committee, athletes wishing to compete in the 2022 Winter must be vaccinated entirely against COVID-19 by December 1. In a letter to stakeholders on Wednesday, USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland revealed the new policy. According to the letter and an internal document obtained by Yahoo Sports, the policy also applies to coaches, employees, and “our entire Team USA delegation in future Olympic and Paralympic Games,” according to the letter and an internal document obtained by Yahoo Sports.

The International Olympic Committee did not impose a vaccination requirement for the Summer in Tokyo. It has not indicated that it will do so for the Winter Games in Beijing. Next month, the company plans to release the first editions of its COVID-19 countermeasure “playbooks.” The USOPC also did not require vaccines for Summer Olympic participants, and around 100 of Team USA’s 600-plus athletes competed in Tokyo without them.

The USOPC stated in an internal paper that it would give “exemption from the immunisation requirement for a legitimate medical reason or a sincerely held religious conviction,” but not for previous illness. Furthermore, exemption requests will be processed “via an independent third party” and “examined on a case-by-case basis.” However, unvaccinated athletes who gain an exemption may be subjected to stricter measures, according to the document, and a separate FAQ states that they will be required to undergo daily COVID testing while with Team USA.

They would not attend the Olympics without an exemption, regardless of the IOC’s regulation. In addition, “failure to comply with the vaccine obligation may result in consequences, up to and including termination of employment” for Team USA employees. The regulation goes into effect in stages, beginning on November 1 for anyone attending a USOPC facility or competing in a Team USA event.

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