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COVID Ends Aussie Skateboarders' Olympic Hopes

Two Australian skateboarders are "devastated" after their hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics were ruined by testing positive for COVID-19 in the United States.

A group of Australian skateboarders flew out earlier this month for an Olympic qualifying event in Iowa, with some needing to bank competition points to secure a spot at the Games.

A coach and two skaters then contracted the coronavirus, ensuring they were barred from competing as teammates were forced to self-isolate.

Charlotte Heath, aged 13, confirmed her diagnosis on social media.

"Pretty bummed about not being able to compete," Heath posted on Instagram.

Heath and the yet-to-be-named teammate will not be able to secure enough points to be part of Australia's Olympic contingent, which can include a maximum of six male and six female skaters.

 
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A post shared by charlotte (@charlotte_heath07)

Poppy Olsen, who is already locked in to represent Australia as the sport makes its Olympic debut in Japan, says other teammates are waiting for the overall points table after this qualifying event to see "who scrapes in".

"Everyone's doing alright, our coach is OK, he's got some cold and flu-like symptoms but he's doing alright and he's being monitored," Olsen told ABC Radio.

"Myself (and) another member, Keegan Palmer, we were the only two people who were really officially locked in (for the Olympics).

"Everyone else, this was pretty much their last shot to get in so it's pretty devastating. Really heartbreaking for them. There's a lot of people who are very frustrated. Just because we came in, we're so lucky coming from such a safe country with almost no Covid cases."

Olsen, who along with some other teammates received her first COVID-19 vaccine dose prior to departing, has tested negative throughout the trip.

Skateboarding will make its debut at the Tokyo Games. Image: Getty.

"I'd be the same amount of nervous coming over here, having two vaccines, because it's still a very scary place and heavily populated with Covid," the 20-year-old said.

The situation underlines some of the risks involved with hosting an Olympics in Tokyo, where athletes, coaches and officials from coronavirus-ravaged countries will descend on the Japanese capital that itself is in a state of emergency because of the pandemic.

"We knew what it was going to be like coming over here and we knew the risks," Olsen said.

"We all knew the challenges and wanted to come and compete. But it actually happening, having a few positive cases, is just really surreal. We're all doing the right things. Everyone's trying to be very safe. A couple of us are worried but we're doing alright."

AAP. Main image: Instagram. 

We'll chat with Poppy Olsen tonight on The Project, 6.30 pm on 10.