TOKYO — GAGE gymnastics coach Al Fong has confirmed with FOX4 that the alternate who tested positive for COVID-19 in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics is 18-year-old Kara Eaker.
Eaker finished 7th overall in the U.S. Gymnastics Trials in June. She was joined by GAGE teammate Leanne Wong as alternates for the team.
She is in the gym six days, or 34 hours, a week – that’s a full-time job. Being in quarantine for 10 days might be her longest stretch ever off the mat.
“They literally put their heart and soul into it,” her father Mark Eaker said.
Wong posted on her Instagram story, “Prayers for a speedy recovery for one of our teammates.”
“Disappointed and I’m heartbroken for her because obviously, she’s worked half her life for this event,” Mark Eaker said. “Just to get named to the team, even as an alternate is a huge honor. And I know she really wanted to go over there and if something did happen and she would have to step in, she was ready.”
“She’s a trooper. She’s tough and with her it’s like, ‘Well, I gave my best effort and it’s not going to happen. So, it’s time to move onto the next thing,” he said.
Eaker’s condition is not known at this time. She was the first American athlete to test positive for COVID-19.
“She’s followed to the letter of the law and done everything right and she still winds up with positive test,” Mark Eaker said. “So, that’s crazy.”
Great American Gymnastics Experience, GAGE, is located in Blue Springs, Missouri.
“She just wants the best for the U.S. team,” Mark Eaker said. “She’s pretty bored, other than that she’s OK.”