Kara Eaker's parents: 'Hope is gone' for her to compete in Tokyo after positive COVID-19 test

Germany Gymnastics World Championships
Posted at 11:53 AM, Jul 19, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kara Eaker’s parents say “hope is gone” for their daughter to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Blue Springs gymnast won a spot as an alternate on Team USA at the U.S. Olympic Trials in St. Louis in June.

Monday, however, she tested positive for COVID-19 while in Tokyo.

Her parents said they are sad for their daughter, who’s worked hard year-after-year to make it this far.

“Mostly disappointed, you know? I feel bad for her, because like I said, she’s trained most of her life for this,” her father, Mark Eaker, said. “There was hope up to this point, even as an alternate. Now that the results have come back, that hope is gone.”

Kara Eaker has been vaccinated and isn’t showing any symptoms, her parents said.

“We are just incredibly thankful that we got her vaccinated, because everyone is telling us — all the medical people are telling us — that’s to her benefit,” Katherine Eaker, Kara’s mother, said. “If there’s something I could tell everybody: Take this seriously.”

Kara Eaker’s parents say they are now looking forward to seeing their daughter when she gets out of isolation and comes home.

Leanne Wong, another local gymnast, also qualified as an Olympic alternate and is in Tokyo with Eaker.

41 KSHB News confirmed with their coach, Al Fong, that Wong is in quarantine for 14 days because of her close contact with Eaker.

Eaker could be released sooner if she continues not to show symptoms.

Fong said Wong is also asymptomatic, though she hasn’t had the COVID-19 vaccine.

The pair trained at a different facility than the other women competing for Team USA, including star athlete Simone Biles.