Polish short track speed skater Natalia Maliszewska has taken to social media to express her complete devastation at not being able to compete at a short track speed skating event at the Winter Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19.
Maliszewska tested positive for Covid on January 30 and was ruled out from participating, but was unexpectedly released from Covid isolation hours on Friday night before Saturday's 500m qualifying race.
However, she then tested positive again just hours before the race on Saturday which saw her denied from competing at the Olympics.
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In an incredible turn of events, she has again tested negative and is free to compete in future events. "Yes, surprisingly!" she told TVP on Sunday. "Two negative. Funny story. I am in great shock! And I don't believe in both the negative and the positive tests."
However, after it was confirmed that she would not be able to participate in the 500m race, where she was a medal favourite, a distraught Maliszewska said her "heart can't take it anymore".
"It is so damn hard for me to speak and say anything," she wrote. "Let me know that I am alive even though I think there is something in me that died yesterday.
"I have been living in fear for over a week... and these mood swings, the crying that takes my breath away, make it not only the people around me worry about me but myself alone.
"I know a lot of people do not understand this situation. Positive and negative tests, tests confirming isolation, suddenly positive tests with results that qualify me to be in the hospital on a ventilator."
"Later, good results again and a chance to be released. Then a total flop. No possibility and hope is dead.
"I'm packing for the ice rink, I'm taking off! I unpack my clothes, hang up my clothes and suddenly the news that they were wrong! That they shouldn't let me out of solitary confinement villages. That night was a horror. I slept in my clothes because I was afraid that someone would take me back to solitary in a moment. I only looked through the curtains a little. With one eye, because I'm afraid someone will see me.
"I don't understand it either. I don't believe in anything anymore. In no tests. No games. It's a big joke for me. My heart can't take it anymore. Thank you. See you soon."
Konrad Niedzwiedzki, Poland Olympics' chef de mission who had to break the news to Maliszewska, exclusively tells Eurosport that he could not understand how someone can test positive straight after a negative test.
He said: "She was surprised and was already wondering what would happen next, because the players are so traumatized by the hotel they were in. They don't really want to go back there in the first place.
"I am not a medical professional and I do not understand that you can suddenly get positive from negative tests. Natalia feels great, is in good shape and there is something invisible here that she does not even feel, and apparently passes on to other people and infects them.
"These results are a verdict, which determines whether the competitor will start, whether she will fight for her first medal and whether she will reach for her dreams."
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