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Oregon distance runner Cole Hocker headed to Olympics unvaccinated

ESPN

"I’m not really too worried about it, going in."

Posted: Jul 19, 2021 10:08 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2021 11:17 PM

EUGENE, Ore. — The Tokyo Olympics are just a few days away but coronavirus concerns continue to grow as athletes from around the world are set to converge in Japan. Cole Hocker, a star middle-distance runner from the University of Oregon, says he's going unvaccinated.

"I'm not really too worried about it going in," Hocker said in a press conference hosted by the University of Oregon on Monday.

Hocker joins a growing list of American Olympians going to the Summer Games unvaccinated. Swimmer Michael Andrew said he is not vaccinated either. Andrew qualified for three different swimming events.

The International Olympic Committee is not requiring Olympic competitors to be vaccinated before arriving in Tokyo.

The news comes after multiple American athletes have had to pull out of the 2020 Olympics because of positive coronavirus tests or due to health and safety protocols. Tennis star Coco Gauff is one of the most recent athletes to announce they tested positive and won't be attending the Olympic Games.

In addition, Tokyo Olympics organizers reported 71 people have now tested positive. The total includes 31 people among the tens of thousands of international guests expected to compete or work at the Games in Japan.

"I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won't be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,'' Gauff tweeted on Sunday. "It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future.''

Tokyo and Japan as a whole are dealing with a recent surge in coronavirus cases, prompting Olympic organizers to prohibit fans from evens within the capital and surrounding area. The most recent seven-day averages in Tokyo show over 1,000 new coronavirus cases a day.

According to USA Today, Oregon distance coach Ben Thomas said Hocker contracted COVID-19 earlier this year but didn't have any symptoms besides a headache for a few days.

Hocker's decision to not get vaccinated is one he is comfortable with heading into the Summer Games.

"I'm not vaccinated, but I feel content with the decision," Hocker said. "I'm interested to see how lockdown it is. I'm sure they'll take it pretty seriously considering the state of Japan right now. It's all new. I haven't been to an Olympic Village and seen what it's like in full effect. It's all going to be new and I'm just rolling with whatever it is."

The 2020 Summer Olympics are set to begin on Friday.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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