Australian Olympic swimmer Madi Wilson is in hospital with Covid after testing positive in Italy. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP
‘I’d be stupid not to say I wasn’t scared,’ 27-year-old swimmer says after testing positive in Italy
Australian Olympic swimming gold medallist Madi Wilson says she feels “extremely unlucky” after being admitted to hospital in Europe with Covid-19.
Less than two months after standing atop the podium with the 4x100m women’s freestyle team, the 27-year-old has revealed she tested positive while in Italy for an International Swim League event.
The diagnosis forced her to withdraw from the breakaway professional league meet, at which she was competing alongside Los Angeles Current teammates and compatriots Bronte Campbell and Matthew Wilson.
“I am extremely disappointed and upset not to be racing alongside my teammates in match 8 here in the ISL,” Wilson wrote on Instagram on Sunday night.
“I recently tested positive for Covid and yesterday was moved into hospital for further care and observation. Even though I am double vaccinated and took the right precaution set in place through the ISL, I have managed to fall to this virus.
“It’s been a crazy few months and I believe being run down physically and mentally may have made me more susceptible.”
Wilson’s Tokyo 2020 gold was her second overall, having claimed her first as a member of the same relay team at the Rio 2016 Olympics. She also won bronze in the women’s 4x200m relay in Tokyo.
Australia’s fully vaccinated Olympic swimming continent, who won a record nine gold medals, returned home from the games Covid-negative and served two weeks of hotel quarantine.
Some, including Chalmers and Emma McKeon, have since headed back abroad to compete in the lucrative ISL. Chalmers and Ariarne Titmus were among several Australian swimmers to send messages of support to Wilson, who said her positive test had scared her.
“I feel extremely unlucky but I do believe this is a huge wake-up call,” Wilson wrote. “Covid is a serious thing and when it comes it hits very hard. I’d be stupid not to say I wasn’t scared. I’m so lucky for all my family, friends and support people. I can’t believe how much love I have been shown and I’m forever in debt to these people.
“Special thanks to my incredible LA family, you haven’t and won’t ever see a team with a bigger heart than theirs, away from the pool the most incredible compassionate group of people and in the pool we are fighting with every bit of strength. I can promise we will be ready to fire come semifinals! I’m taking some time to rest and I’m sure I’ll be ready to bounce back in no time.”