USA and AVP athlete Taylor Crabb tested positive for Covid-19 upon landing in Tokyo almost a week ago. After days of quarantine, four positive tests, and a lot of soul searching – Taylor officially withdrew from the Games on Thursday afternoon.
Taylor, an 8-time AVP champion, could have waited. The Olympics needed to know on Thursday if Taylor was going to remain in the Games and hope for a negative test in a few days or if he would withdraw and relinquish his spot to USA alternate Tri Bourne. Taylor could have rolled the dice. If his next test results came back negative, he’d be allowed to play (albeit after forfeiting their first match on Sunday against Italy’s Rossi and Carambula). But he didn’t roll the dice on his partner’s final Olympics. Taylor put Jake first and took himself out of the equation.
USA Alternate Tri Bourne will take Taylor’s place in Tokyo. A few days ago, Tri flew to Tokyo in anticipation of this. Tri, who has been close friends with Taylor since their childhood in Waikiki, HI, expressed sadness for his friend but excitement for the unexpected opportunity. “It’s truly disappointing to hear that my dear friend will not be playing in the Tokyo Games,” Bourne said via USA Volleyball. “Taylor is one of the world’s best and he earned this Olympic spot. I’m very honored to be filling in for him and what he represents: his team, family friends and community back home. That being said, I’m ready for this moment. I believe it to my core.”
In a statement to the Associated Press and his Instagram page, Taylor said, “After taking every precaution, getting vaccinated, following protocols, I have tested positive for COVID-19. I’m symptom-free, thankfully, but deeply disappointed to not be able to join Jake on the sand and compete as a member of Team USA. I’ve faced adversity before, and I will face it again, but it doesn’t take the sting out of the situation. I have learned so much from Jake and Rich in the five years we’ve been playing together as a team, and much of that has helped me become a better version of myself — one that my family, friends and teammates can count on. That’s where this hurts the most. I want Jake to play in his fourth Olympic games and I want him to bring home a medal. Tri Bourne, an incredible athlete, person and close friend will be competing alongside Jake and filling my spot on Team USA. While there is no question that I’m devastated to not be competing, I’ve now taken on a new role – supporting my new team Rich, Jake and Tri. I want to send positive vibes and negative test results to all athletes here in Tokyo—stay healthy and enjoy every moment.”
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