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German-born Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans has been permitted to enter the Winter Olympics Village on Thursday, following an emotional Instagram video concerning a Covid-19 isolation scare in Beijing.

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Early this month before her arrival in China, the 25-year-old Olympian had tested positive for Covid-19, missing two World Cup races as a result, according to her Instagram.

Despite 12 negative PCR tests in the lead up to the Games, Meylemans said she then tested positive upon her arrival into Beijing.

“I had 12 negative PCR tests in the last two weeks but suddenly upon arrival in China, I am considered positive again. Science proving that a PCR can detect viral residue long past a person’s infection, seems to not matter at all,” she said in an Instagram post Tuesday. 

After being placed in isolation at a government hotel, Meylemans then returned “two consecutive negative Covid-19 tests” according to a statement from the International Olympic Committee.

It was her understanding that following the negative tests, in accordance with the Beijing 2022 Playbook, she would be treated as a close contact and moved to the Olympic Village for seven more days of isolation.

Instead, Meylemans revealed in an emotional video on Wednesday that she had been placed in a government facility, sparking outcry on social media. 

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“Some of you have read the good news that I was sent out of the isolation facility, we thought this meant I was allowed to return to the Olympic Village and would be treated as a close contact, but I did not return to the village, the ambulance went to another facility where I am now,” Meylemans told her Instagram followers. 

“I am supposed to stay here for another seven days with two PCRs a day and no contact with anybody else. We are not even sure I will ever be allowed to go into the village. Obviously, this is very hard for me so I ask you all to give me time to consider my next steps because I am not sure I can handle 14 more days and the Olympic competition while being in this isolation,” she added, breaking down in tears. 

The situation was quickly rectified though. After Belgian Olympic officials and the IOC learned of Meylemans’ situation, they asked for her to be moved into the isolation site inside the Olympic Village. 

In an update posted late Wednesday from inside isolation, Meylemans said the efforts from her supporters and the IOC had “paid off.”

“I am now in a wing that is just isolation, but at least I am back in the village. I feel safe and I’ll be able to train a little better here,” she said. 

Meylemans, who made her Olympic Winter Games debut at PyeongChang in 2018, was the first skeleton slider, male or female, to ever represent Belgium in the Olympics.

Per the Beijing 2022 Playbook, athletes who are identified as close contacts at the Games are allowed to train, compete, and live in the Olympic Village, provided they remain in a single room, are transported alone and eat alone.

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