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Bolshunov Worries About the Norwegian Covid Outbreak

Alexander Bolshunov fears that the covid outbreak in the Norwegian Olympic cross-country ski team may ruin his chances at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

Photo: Maxim Thore/Bildbyrån

Alexander Bolshunov worries that the Covid-19 outbreak in the Norwegian Olympic team in Seiser Alm, Italy, may ruin his chances at the upcoming 2022 Olympics.

Alexander Bolshunov and the rest of the Russian national team preparing for the upcoming Olympics in Beijing are worried about the Covid infections in the Norwegian Olympic cross-country ski team. The two teams are training for the Olympics in the same place in Seiser Alm, Italy.

This week, two of the Norwegian cross-country skiers named to the 2022 Olympic team tested positive for Covid-19 during the Olympic pre camp in Seiser Alm. 

Norwegian national sprint team coach Arild Monsen, was the first to test positive for Covid-19. Monsen tested positive for Covid-19 when he returned to Norway on Sunday evening. 

The entire Norwegian national team in Seiser Alm was then tested on Monday. The analysis of these PCR tests returned two positive tests: Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvå are confirmed infected with Covid-19 and are in isolation. 

The rest of the Norwegian National team in Seiser Alm is considered close contacts and in quarantine. However, the Norwegian national team doesn’t rule out that additional athletes can be infected with Covid-19. 

Worried about infection
The Covid outbreak in the Norwegian team now has the Russian national team worried. 

The Russian national team group coached by Yuri Borodavko, which includes Alexander Bolshunov, Denis Spitsov, Alexander Terentev, Alexei Chervotkin, Anastasia Kuleshova, Anna Grukhvina, Yana Kirpichenko, Maria Istomina, Natalia Nepryaeva, was staying in the same hotel as the Norwegian national team in Seiser Alm, at Alpe di Siusi.

This is Russia’s team to the 2022 Olympics

While the two teams didn’t have much contact with each other at the hotel, the Russians immediately moved to a smaller hotel as soon as they heard of the Covid infection in the Norwegian Olympic team. 

“The news (about Monsen’s positive Covid test, ed.) was a shock for us, so we felt that the right thing to do was to find a new accommodation,” Borodavko says to TV2

“We are now in a smaller hotel, where there are fewer people. I hope no one else is infected. I am very sad for the two Norwegian athletes, Borodavko says. 

Unfair Olympics
The 2022 Olympics in Beijing start on February 4, and conclude on February 20. 

Despite the recent surge in Covid infections, the IOC and the Beijing Olympics organizing committee announced that the 2022 Olympics will not be cancelled or postponed. However, stringent anti-covid restrictions will be in place.

Nevertheless, the president of the Russian cross-country skiing federation, Elena Välbe, is concerned about the covid-situation at the upcoming Olympics in Beijing. 

“There won’t be any good Olympics. It looks like it will be just pure luck if you make it to China. It would have been better to postpone the competitions for a year, in the hope that the infection situation will improve. But of course it is too late now. Imagine being as unlucky as the two Norwegian athletes,” Välbe says.

The Russian Olympic team will fly from Milan to China on Saturday, January 29.


Where: Beijing, China
When: February 4 to 20, 2022
What: Olympic Winter Games
What happens when: 
Complete schedule for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, all sports
Who: These are the cross-country teams at the 2022 Olympics: 
Great Britain 
The Tiny Teams to The 2022 Olympics (teams with fewer than five racers)

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