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AP breaks news of vaccine mandate for US Olympic athletes

A passenger jet flies over The Olympic rings on display outside the Olympic Stadium during the the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 5, 2021. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel)

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AP’s longtime Olympics beat writer Eddie Pells broke news of the groundbreaking policy mandating that U.S. Olympic athletes and staff be vaccinated by Nov. 1 to use facilities of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee in advance of February’s Beijing Games.

Knowing that the committee was exploring a new vaccine policy, Pells had followed the story closely. When the USOPC reached its decision they forwarded a stakeholders’ letter on the policy to Pells, telling him to be ready for its public release later in the week.

Armed with the letter, Pells was fully prepped with a story and link to the freshly updated team website when the announcement came Wednesday, giving AP a full-fledged scoop on one of the first sports organizations anywhere to make vaccines mandatory.

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