I’m USA TODAY editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, and this is The Backstory, insights into our biggest stories of the week. If you’d like to get The Backstory in your inbox every week, sign up here.
Despite pushing back the Summer Olympics by a full year, these still will be the COVID Games.
On Sunday, Coco Gauff, the highest-ranked American tennis player going to the Games, announced she tested positive before traveling to Tokyo and would not play.
Monday, we learned an alternate on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, Kara Eaker, had COVID-19, becoming the first known American athlete to test positive while in Japan. She was fully vaccinated.
And Wednesday, news broke that American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb tested positive after arriving in Japan. He said Thursday he’s pulling out of the Olympics.
Coronavirus cases surged to a six-month high in Tokyo a week before the Olympics. Japan is about 23% fully vaccinated. The International Olympic Committee urged, but didn’t require, participants to be vaccinated. Since July 1, 91 coronavirus cases have been tied to the Games, with 52 confirmed among Japanese residents, according to the organizing committee. Those who test positive are immediately quarantined.