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An injured Olympic athlete was flown house on a cargo airplane due to Covid guidelines in Beijing.


A Polish luge athlete who was injured throughout a Winter Olympics coaching occasion close to Beijing was flown out of China on a cargo airplane this week after coronavirus restrictions prevented him from taking a industrial flight, in keeping with the pinnacle of Poland’s luge affiliation.

The incident speaks to the sorts of problems that might come up at subsequent yr’s Winter Video games, that are scheduled to start on Feb. 4 in accordance with strict health protocols. For coaching and different occasions within the prelude to the Video games, athletes and crew officers are not allowed to move about freely till they’ve spent 21 days inside a bubblelike coaching and competitors zone.

The luger, Mateusz Sochowicz, 25, hit a barrier and fractured his leg on Nov. 8 whereas coaching on the monitor that will likely be used through the Winter Video games. He was hospitalized close to Beijing, and the Worldwide Luge Federation stated that it and the native monitor operator have been introducing additional safety measures for the Video games after the accident.

However when organizers tried to rearrange for Mr. Sochowicz to journey again to Poland on a industrial flight, they have been instructed that Covid laws prevented him from doing so for an additional two weeks, in keeping with Janusz Tatera, the pinnacle of Poland’s luge federation.

As an alternative, Mr. Sochowicz traveled on an Air China cargo airplane from Beijing to Milan on Monday, earlier than taking one other flight to Warsaw, Mr. Tatera stated in a phone interview.

The cargo airplane’s inside was similar to that of a passenger jet, Mr. Tatera stated, including that Mr. Sochowicz had described his journey from Beijing as “very comfy.”

Mr. Sochowicz stays optimistic, Mr. Tatera stated, that he’ll compete in Beijing 2022 after recovering from the harm.