28 January 2022
Cowbells rang and tiny US flags waved inside an airplane hanger at Los Angeles International Airport as the US Olympic team departed for the Beijing Olympics Thursday morning.
A Delta Air Lines charter flight carried about 200 athletes, coaches and trainers for the games which are scheduled to start next week. Departing Olympians expressed joy that their months of preparation and COVID-19 isolation were finally being rewarded.
Mac Forehand, US Freestyle Skier said "I was fully ready for the Olympics to happen this year. I think Team USA and China is gonna do a fantastic job of keeping everybody safe. And yeah, we're really excited to go and do this."
Maame Biney, US Short Track Speed Skater said "I feel very safe going to Beijing just because I know that there are a lot of people and a lot of staff members who are wanting to keep everyone safe."
Olympic officials say they'll be flexible and review the need for isolation on a case-by-case basis. It's part of the complexities of staging a big event in the pandemic. Everyone inside the Olympic bubble will get daily throat swabs for PCR lab tests. Anyone confirmed to be positive will have to isolate until cleared for discharge.
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