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Dan Craven out of Olympic Games after testing positive for COVID-19

Namibian rider whose ‘live tweeting’ of Rio 2016 race went viral frustrated at delay in getting vaccinated in Spain

Dan Craven, the Namibian cyclist whose ‘live tweeting’  while riding the Olympic road race at Rio five years ago went viral, is out of the Tokyo Games after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 38-year-old revealed on social media that he had tried for months to secure vaccination in Spain, where he lives.

To rub salt in the wound, he was finally invited to have it just two hours after learning of his positive test for the coronavirus, dashing his hopes of competing in Japan.

He told The Namibian newspaper: “I have been dreaming about Tokyo 2020 basically since the Rio Olympics ended in 2016.

“I have been working towards it specifically and pig-headedly since the end of 2017 – that's four years now that I've been working specifically towards this goal.

“So, a lot of time and effort and personal finances have gone towards this and it all changed from one little virus.

“I caught the virus on a training ride with three other people – one person had it, but the two other people did not get it. If I can catch the virus on a training ride, I think it’s extremely scary and people really need to be careful.

“I am unvaccinated and that is not by choice – my wife and I are based in Spain, where we have been fighting the system for months,” he continued.

“We have been doing everything in our power to get the vaccine, but the bureaucratic system to get registered has just been crazy and two hours after I tested positive I got a phone call saying I can come in for my vaccine and that was pretty hard.

His place in the team has been taken by Tristan De Lange.

“I'm obviously gutted, but I'm very happy that Namibia could still fill my place and that Tristan got the place, because in the selection races, the national championships and at the Argus Cycle Race, he was really impressive,” Craven said.

“It's been great to see how he has developed over the years and to see his tactical know-how and strength, even though he's mostly a mountain biker and almost never does road racing.

“I think it's just an absolutely beautiful opportunity for someone like him to be able to go to the Olympic Games,” he added.

A procyclist from 2009-17, Craven rode for teams including Rapha-Condor-Sharp, Team Europcar and Israel Cycling Academy, and a six-time Namibian national champion, the last of those titles won in February this year and helping ensure his selection for Tokyo.

As for that ‘live tweeting’ of the 2016 road race? It turned out that the now Mrs Craven had got hold of his phone and taken over his Twitter account, although it took a while for some to cotton on.

> Twitter abuzz as Namibia’s Dan Craven ‘live tweets’ Olympic road race - while riding it

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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RobD | 2 years ago

I'm surprised that the IOC haven't had a vaccination programme available to athletes, the low cost of the AZ vaccine for instance would make it affordable to any athlete, from Feb/March you'd know if you were on the long list for participation, if they were sersious about the games going ahead you'd have thought they'd make vaccines available months ago to those who are struggling to get them in their country of residence.

Secret_squirrel replied to RobD | 2 years ago

The IOC dont do anything that doesnt benefit the IOC.  I suspect they gambled the big nations would be organised enough to do it themselves.

Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago

I sympathise with him but surely if Namibia were serious about an Olympic bid they would have sorted out a private source months ago.   Look at the UAE Proteam, they were being filled full of iffy Russian vaccine almost before the first UK granny got AZ.

RoubaixCube | 2 years ago

All these Athletes spending years training for an event only to turn up and be struck off the participation list because the IOC was so adamant that the show must go on.

Athletes should boycott the Japan Olympics. If the old men in the IOC want a show then they can strip down and run around a track or jump in a sand pit.

Imagine what an empty victory it would be if you won a gold only because half the participants - some of which who were better than you didnt turn up to compete.

A medal is a medal but it has no value if i really didnt have to work for it. 

mdavidford replied to RoubaixCube | 2 years ago

RoubaixCube wrote:

All these Athletes spending years training for an event only to turn up and be struck off the participation list because the IOC was so adamant that the show must go on.

But if they'd decided the show wouldn't go on, then they'd all have been off the participation list anyway.

Secret_squirrel replied to RoubaixCube | 2 years ago
1 like

I think it's pretty clear that the priority  of the IOC is keeping their noses in the trough as long as possible regardless of the impact on the Host Country, the participants and any spectators. 

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