U.S. speed skater Casey Dawson won't race 5000m due to COVID-19, hopeful for team pursuit

U.S. speed skater Casey Dawson won't race 5000m due to COVID-19, hopeful for team pursuit
Posted at 4:06 AM, Feb 04, 2022

Casey Dawson, a 21-year-old speed skater from the United States, announced on Instagram that he will not compete in the Men's 5000m race at the Winter Olympics on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Dawson posted that he first tested positive three weeks ago and produced two negative tests this week. But, he was not cleared to travel in time and claims that rule changes affected this situation. 

"I am saddened to announce that I will not be racing my individual races at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games," Dawson wrote. "Everything was good until I received news that they now require four negative tests to even consider sending me over. Also the testing site I used was on the approved list, and that was also changed.

"I was lost and am still lost, but I know none of this is in my control. All I can do is continue to train and keep the dream in sight for the team pursuit."

He was set to compete along with fellow 21-year-old skater Ethan Cepuran as the sole Americans in the 5000m.

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Dawson edged Emery Lehman by 0.13 seconds at the U.S. Trials to capture the second and final spot in the event. Lehman posted on Instagramthat he will take Dawson's place on Sunday. 

The men's team pursuit quarterfinals are scheduled for Feb. 13, and the semifinals and finals are on Feb. 15. The discipline involves three teammates skating together, and the U.S. has shuffled combinations of Dawson, Cepuran, Lehman and Joey Mantia leading up to the Olympics.

"I am going to be stronger and more prepared than ever before, and with the team I have behind me, I know great things are to come," Dawson said. "Thank you everyone for being there along this journey, and just know this is just one setback that can’t and won’t stop me."

SEE MORE: Meet the U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Team