ZHANGJIAKOU (Aftenposten): Jarl Magnus Riiber tested positive for the corona in the Olympics. Then he got to know in practice what it means.
When Riiber looked out of the window around 2.30 pm local time on Friday, an ambulance was standing outside.
Riiber was told to go down. There he was met by personnel covered by infection control equipment from head to toe.
Then he was transported for 20 minutes. With blue light on.
– It was a bit surreal. The car was full of chlorine. You notice that they have worked hard with regard to the infection in that car. You are transported around like a real contagion bomb, says Riiber in a video conversation with Norwegian journalists.
Everything covered in chlorine
Riiber is still asymptomatic and in good spirits.
He is in a quarantine hotel in Shuanglong. He showed the press the room during the video call, and described it as “a completely normal hotel room”.
One of Norway’s safest gold cards has been knocked out. But even on a day like this, there is hope.
This is where the world’s best combined runner will sit during the Olympic competition on Wednesday.
– Many have thought that the Olympics should be postponed. What do you think about it being the Olympics now?
– There are holes in the hat. There was such a high infection pressure before departure. This makes the chance of getting the corona just before departure far too great, Riiber tells Aftenposten.
He adds that it is easy for him to say now that the Olympics should have been canceled.
– You are interested in details in, for example, the training work. How is it that everything is decided by more or less coincidences?
– It certainly makes it easier to accept being kicked out. Had there been a situation I could have controlled, I would have been much more disappointed.
Competitors Kristjan Ilves, Terence Weber and Eric Frenzel are also infected.
All four competed in Seefeld this weekend. It is unclear whether the infection occurred there.
But Riiber still believes that it was right of him to pose in Seefeld.
– Is Seefeld worth as much as the Olympics?
– The World Cup points that are awarded there are at least as much worth, says Riiber, who is number two in the World Cup overall.
– But did you think it was a risk before you went down yours?
– The whole combined circus was gathered there. No one stood over that weekend. For my part, who suffered back injuries after Ramsau, it was important implementation before the Olympics. Not competing a month before the Olympics would not make things better. I’m glad I went to Seefeld and picked up a few points, says Riiber.
However, the 24-year-old does not rule out that the infection may have occurred in Seefeld. He states, among other things, that several of the world’s best runners had to sit together on the ski jump for a while due to delays.
– If the infection happened there, it is a real crisis. But we have no evidence to say that, says sports manager Ivar Stuan.
Lasse Ottesen, Director of Competition for Combined in the International Ski Federation, answers the following:
– When it comes to infection control in Seefeld, this was set up in the same way as in all our World Cup races this winter. It was even stricter in Seefeld when it comes to the number of people in the elevator and waiting room at the same time. So I can can confirm that all infection control rules were followed in Seefeld.