Winter Olympics: Covid ends ski jump favourite Kramer's dream
In a gut-wrenching blow, ski jump gold medal favourite Marita Kramer will be unable to compete in Beijing after contracting coronavirus.
Marita Kramer, Austria's ski jumping World Cup leader and a gold medal favourite, will not be able to compete at the Winter Olympics.
Austria's Kramer has finished on the podium in 13 of the last 14 individual World Cup events at which she has competed, winning 10 of those.
However, she tested positive for coronavirus on January 29 in the last routine PCR test before her planned departure to Beijing.
Kramer, 20, had competed at the World Cup event in Willingen, Germany, that day. The Austrian team subsequently withdrew from the competition on Sunday.
The Austria Ski Federation (OESV) said it hoped she would still be able to feature in the women's ski jump event, which is due to take place on Saturday at the Zhangjiakou venue.
However, it has now been confirmed Kramer will not be competing.
"Our worst fears have become sad certainties," tweeted Ski Austria, the OESV's official Twitter account.
"World Cup dominator Marita Kramer cannot start in Beijing because of positive covid tests, although she feels physically fit and ready. Lisa Eder steps in as a substitute."
"No words, no feelings, just emptiness," Kramer wrote on Instagram.
"Is the world really this unfair? The last years I have prepared for the Olympics. I have put in so much energy and time in it to make my dreams come true.
"Now it feels that my dreams are gone within one day. I will take some time off to refill my body with energy and new dreams to get that fire again."