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US bobsledder shares heartbreaking post about testing positive for COVID before Olympics

First-time Olympian Josh Williamson feels "helpless" after a positive COVID-19 test has delayed his trip to Beijing and put his Olympic dreams in jeopardy.

U.S. bobsledder Josh Williamson feels "helpless" after a positive COVID-19 test has put his chances of competing in the Winter Olympics in jeopardy.

Williamson, 25, shared his heartbreak over a positive test that has delayed his journey to Beijing in an Instagram post on Jan. 27.

"Sunday morning I tested positive for COVID-19, so I will not be on @teamusa’s flight to Beijing tomorrow," he wrote. "This has not been an easy pill to swallow. I have felt pretty helpless throughout this process, but I’ve also found myself laughing a bit at the situation I’m in. Isn’t it ironic that after 4 years of hard work, all there is to do is sit, rest, recover and have faith? Things I struggle to do the most."

Williamson is a former Division I lacrosse player at Mercer University who became a bobsledder after winning Team USA’s “Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful." The first-time Olympian is one of six push athletes among the U.S. bobsled contingent.

While his Olympic dreams are on pause right now, he still has time to make it to Beijing and compete if he tests negative. The four-man bobsled competition, which features all six push athletes, isn't until the final weekend of the Olympics on Feb. 19-20.

The two-man bobsled competition is Feb. 14-15, but it's not clear if Williamson will participate in that event as Team USA has not yet announced which two of the six push athletes will be selected to compete.

"There are later flights running to Beijing throughout the Olympics in anticipation of things like this, I just need consistent negatives to be on one," Williamson wrote. "The support I received after making the team has been incredible and it has meant the world to me. I hope I get the chance to compete for you all!"

Williamson's teammates and fellow competitors commented with messages of support.

"We'll see you there," Canadian gold medalist Justin Kripps wrote.

"You will be with us in no time," teammate Carlo Valdes wrote. "Team Rat will be whole again. We will see you very soon in China. Stay in the right mindset."

"Stay strong Josh, you are ready and will join us 🇺🇸 soon!" teammate Justin Olsen wrote.

"Wishing you a speedy recovery and see you soon in Beijing!" Team USA women's bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor wrote.

Once Williamson hopefully makes it to Beijing, he will be once again tested frequently. Athletes will need to provide two negative PCR tests taken within 96 hours of their departure to China regardless of vaccination status, according to the Beijing 2022 Playbook. One of those tests needs to be taken within 72 hours of their departure, and athletes will be given another PCR test upon arriving in China.

After athletes clear quarantine, they will undergo daily COVID-19 throat swab testing. If an athlete tests positive while in Beijing, he or she will then undergo a PCR test to confirm the results. If the PCR test is positive, the athlete won't be able to compete.