Before stepping off the Olympic training track on Monday, Keegan Messing looked up at the ceiling and exhaled what looked like a big sigh of relief.
The Canadian men figure skating champion trained in Beijing on Monday afternoon, just five hours after landing and less than 24 hours before he will skate in the men’s short program.
BIG sigh of relief … He made it people!@KeeganMOnline is in Beijing preparing to take part in the men’s singles< br>
Competition starts Monday at 20:15 ET
The 30-year-old from Girdwood, Alaska, has been detained in Vancouver for more than a week after testing positive for COVID-19. He had to pass four tests before being allowed to fly to Beijing.
Canada’s charter flights to Beijing were long gone by then, so Messing, who won his first Canadian title in Ottawa last month, first had to fly to Montreal for his fourth Test, and then through Milan to Beijing.
Skate Canada’s high performance director Mike Slipchuk joked if there was any athlete who could compete well after taking the “milk run” to Beijing, it was Messing, as his journey from Alaska is long for any event.
“Everywhere [Messing] going is a two-day adventure, “says Slipchuk.” But Keegan and his coach Ralph [Burghart]they are very low key and they are determined to be here. “
KYK | Beijing Profile: Keegan Messing
He competes for Canada because his mother was born in Edmonton.
The short program for men begins Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. local time.
Messing’s positive COVID-19 test meant he missed the team event, in which Canada finished fourth on Monday. Roman Sadovosky, the Canadian silver medalist, filled in for the men’s singles skates.