Jessica Schultz Curling
Getty Images

Jessica Schultz, U.S. Olympic curler, shares her story of recovering from coronavirus

Leave a comment

Jessica Schultz, one of the athletes who tested positive for the coronavirus after the U.S. Club Curling Championships in early March, shared her month-long fight with mild symptoms to raise awareness and help others during this difficult time.

“In my almost 30 days of isolation with this virus, I have renamed it ‘my good friend Rona’ or ‘the abusive ex-boyfriend Covid,'” she wrote in an April 14 blog post. “This is an attempt at finding some humor in what could be a devastating moment in time. The ex., Covid, hasn’t been around lately, thank goodness; he typically brings the joint pain and inability to function. But Rona… she likes to hang out and give the low-grade fever feeling. She occasionally surprises me for coffee or waits until happy hour to drop her bad news.”

Schultz, a 2006 and 2014 Olympian, started feeling a little off the night before her team’s championship match at club nationals in Potomac, Md., according to the Anchorage Daily News. They lost the final. Schultz, 35, flew back home to Alaska. Everybody on the team later tested positive, according to the report.

Schultz, in her blog written after recovering, listed 13 symptoms chronologically, starting with chills and lethargy, including a loss of taste and smell and finishing with intermittent feverish days, but with a normal temperature.

She also shared having two “major breakdowns” during those 30 days.

“The first breakdown happened when Covid tricked me into getting excited about his departure, but a few days later he came roaring back with a vengeance,” Schultz wrote. “The second breakdown happened when I received news that even if I was healthy, I didn’t have my normal job to go back to and I needed to file unemployment. At this point, it was easy to feel defeated, becoming one with the couch. Through the first weeks of my relationship with Covid, I experienced all stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).”

Last week, USA Curling announced it hired Schultz as its women’s national team and juniors director. Schultz previously founded curlAK, a non-profit to grow curling in Alaska, and had worked as a physician’s assistant.

“I’m over the moon excited to play a role in the continued strengthening of our organization,” she said in a press release. “We have a talented group of athletes, and I look forward to being a consistent resource from the grassroots to the podium.”

MORE: Olympic curling champ forms mixed doubles team with 12-year-old daughter

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!