Palo Alto Olympian Vincent Zhou drops figure skating competition after positive COVID-19 test – CBS San Francisco

PALO ALTO (BCN) – American Olympic figure skater Vincent Zhou, who was born in San Jose and grew up in Palo Alto, tested positive for COVID-19 and dropped out of the men’s individual competition at the Winter Games in Beijing.

The 21-year-old announced his retirement Monday via Instagram. He said he was doing “everything in his power” since the pandemic began avoiding COVID-19.

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“I have taken all the precautions I can,” Zhou said during the five-minute video that appeared to have been taken in his hotel room. “I’ve isolated myself so much that the loneliness I’ve felt over the last month or two has been crushing at times.”

Zhou was tested positive during a routine screening, the U.S. Figure Skating Association said in a statement Monday, the same day the U.S. team took silver in the team competition.

Vincent Zhou from Team United States skates during the Free Skating Team event for men Single Skating on day two of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 6, 2022 in Beijing, China.  (Harry How / Getty Images)

Vincent Zhou from Team United States skates during the Free Skating Team event for men Single Skating on day two of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 6, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Harry How / Getty Images)

Zhou’s departure leaves the United States with only two competitors in the individual competition – Jason Brown and Nathen Che – which starts on Tuesday (Monday night in the United States).

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Because Zhou already skated in the team competition, the rules say he can not be replaced.

Zhou was at times emotionally charged during his Instagram post.

“I have already lost count of the number of times I have cried today,” said Zhou, whose parents originally came from China and became Silicon Valley computer scientists (Zhou’s grandparents live in Beijing). “But I’m glad to say that at least one of those times was happy tears. That was when I found out I was an Olympic silver medalist.”

Growing up in the Bay Area, one of Zhou’s coaches was the 1980 Olympic silver medalist Charlie Tickner from Lafayette. Zhou is a triple US national silver medalist and finished in sixth place at the 2018 Winter Olympics, where he became the first figure skater to successfully land a quadruple Lutz jump.

Zhou said he expects to compete in next month’s World Cup in France.

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