On Friday, July 23, Canadian marathoner Dayna Pidhoresky set out on her Olympic journey from Canada to Japan. After arriving in Tokyo, she travelled with her coach, Josh Seifarth, to join Team Canada’s training camp in Gifu. On Tuesday, July 27, they received a call from Athletics Canada, who had been notified by Japanese authorities that they had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 on their flight to Japan. Both Pidhoresky and Seifarth were immediately required to isolate in their hotel room. Athletes are tested twice a day, and so far their tests have returned negative. They are both also fully vaccinated, but that fact does not carry any weight at these Olympics.
Getting to the start line hasn’t been easy for Pidhoresky, as the runner dealt with an injury to her soleus (calf muscle) in 2o2o. She has been training well leading up to the Games, but while isolating in her hotel room, so far she has not been able to run, or to receive any treatment or physiotherapy.
Athletics Canada says it’s doing everything it can to help Pidhoresky compete in the Olympic marathon. A joint statement from the Canadian Olympic Committee and Athletics Canada said: “The COC and Athletics Canada have worked closely with local prefecture officials and the Canadian embassy to resolve the situation involving Dayna. She will be able to train again leading up to the women’s marathon event at Tokyo 2020. We would also like to thank the City of Gifu which has been wonderful hosts. Team Canada remains committed to following the guidelines outlined in the Tokyo 2020 Playbook and the Japanese Government’s regulations.”
Pidhoresky requested, and was given, a stationary bike to use in her room, and Seifarth has given her multiple cycling workouts each day to maintain her endurance. “We are one week away from the start of the women’s marathon and Dayna has not been given any timeline for release date,” says Seifarth. “It is more than likely she will only get to run once or twice in the days leading up the race.”
It’s expected that the other two Canadian women marathoners, Malindi Elmore and Natasha Wodak, will travel from Gifu to Sapporo on Saturday. Pidhoresky and Seifarth will travel on the same day, but will remain in isolation.