Long Beach State alum and newly minted Olympian Taylor Crabb confirmed via his social media on Thursday morning that he’s tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, where he was slated to play beach volleyball for Team USA.
“After taking every precaution, getting vaccinated, and following protocols, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m symptom-free, thankfully, but deeply disappointed to not be able to join Jake on the sand and compete as a member of Team USA.”
Crabb, an NCAA National Player of the Year with Long Beach State’s men’s volleyball team, was slated to compete with Jake Gibb on the beach. The duo are ranked in the top five in the world and were expected to contend for a medal in Tokyo.
Crabb’s spot alongside Gibb will be taken by Tri Bourne. Crabb is one of dozens of athletes who’ve tested positive who will miss the upcoming Olympics.
He was one of 10 athletes and five coaches from Long Beach set to compete at the games.
Crabb’s announcement came after four positive tests for the virus.
Despite a positive result at the Tokyo airport and follow-up tests that confirmed it, he’d remained hopeful that subsequent tests would clear him to play. Those results continued to come back positive—including one on Thursday, just hours before the deadline for the national governing body to replace him on the Olympic roster.
The Olympic beach volleyball tournament begins Saturday at Tokyo’s Shiokaze Park, with Gibb and Bourne scheduled to play their first match on Sunday night against Italy.
“While there is no question that I’m devastated to not be competing, I’ve now taken on a new role—supporting my new team (coach Rich Lambourne), Jake and Tri Bourne,” Crabb, 29, who was looking to make his Olympic debut, told the Associated Press. “I want to send positive vibes and negative test results to all athletes here in Tokyo—stay healthy and enjoy every moment.”
Bourne, a 32-year-old from Hawaii, was on the Southern California team that reached the 2009 NCAA finals in indoor volleyball and was the 2014 rookie of the year on the international beach tour.
He was officially added to the U.S. roster on Thursday, shortly after Crabb texted to let him know that he would be making his Olympic debut.
“It’s truly disappointing to hear that my dear friend will not be playing in the Tokyo Games,” Bourne said in a statement released by USA Volleyball. “Taylor is one of the world’s best and he earned this Olympic spot. … I’m very honored to be filling in for him and what he represents: his team, family friends and community back home.”
Associated Press Sports Writer Jimmy Golen contributed to this report.
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