COVID forces several athletes to pull out of Olympic games (includes video story)

Surging COVID-19 cases in Japan are causing fear for the summer Olympics. The virus has already hit the Olympic village, sending some Olympians home.

Some high-profile cases have come from the U.S. men’s basketball team. Bradley Beal and Jerami Grant will both miss the Olympics after being placed in the USA Basketball’s health and safety protocol. The team is still the odds-on favorite to win gold in Tokyo– but the road to victory will be much tougher.

Tennis star Coco Gauff also had to pull out of the games after a positive COVID test. And in the US women’s gymnastics team, Kara Eacker tested positive for the virus and Leanne Wong is in quarantine after being in close contact with Eacker, forcing both to withdraw from the games.

Despite the surge of COVID cases, American athletes are looking forward to representing their country at Olympics. Leading those athletes out of the Tunnel in Tokyo is a familiar face to South Floridians.

Eddy Alvarez will be one of two flag bearers for the United States in the Opening Ceremonies. Alvarez was born and raised in South Florida to Cuban American parents. He plays infield for the U.S. baseball team. He is currently in the Miami Marlins minor league system.

This will not be his first games. Alvarez already has a medal in short-track speed skating from the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Kasey Mintz is a journalism student at Florida International University. He enjoys college football, politics, and the Office.