Curling Canada keeping fans away from Scotties finals due to virus concerns | CBC Sports

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  • Norway rejigs Olympic curling roster, Swedish player tests positive

Curling Canada says there will be no fans in the building for the final weekend of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

The 18-rink competition to crown the Canadian women’s curling champion is being held at the Fort Williams Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The tournament began Friday without fans or media in attendance due to provincial health restrictions around COVID-19.

Ontario previously announced 500 spectators could be allowed in the arena as of Jan. 31, but Curling Canada issued a statement Saturday saying it has decided not to open the venue “after careful thought and consideration.”

The association says it looked into offering a modified ticket plan for the final three days of the event, which ends Feb. 6, but felt it “could not confidently provide an environment that would be safe for everyone involved” due to the latest surge of COVID-19.

Kerri Einarson from Gimli, Man., is seeking her third straight Scotties title at this year’s event.

Norway replaces cross-country skier, Swede tests positive

The pandemic continues to impact cross-country ski teams as they head to the Beijing Olympics, with a Norwegian skier replaced and a Swedish competitor testing positive upon arrival in China.

The Norwegian women’s team replaced Anne Kjersti Kalva with Ragnhild Haga after the former tested positive for COVID-19.

“We need to ensure enough athletes for the distances during the Games,” Gro Eide, a spokesman for the Ski Federation, told reporters.

Heidi Weng had also tested positive, but Eide said her situation was pending.

Swedish cross-country skier Leo Johansson was in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 when he arrived in China, team spokesman Lars Markusson said.

Johansson had tested positive before the training camp in Italy two weeks ago and went home to Sweden, so he did not have contact with the rest of the team, Markusson said.

He had six negative PCR tests before leaving for China but when he arrived Friday, he tested positive. He also was positive in a second test Saturday, Markusson said.

There were no other positive tests on national team upon arrival, team manager Peter Reinebo said.

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