23:45  ,  March 30, 2021

Tina Garabedian, Simon Proulx-Senecal: Our dream to go to the Olympics was stolen

Member of the Armenian figure skating team Tina Garabedian and her partner Simon Proulx-Senecal say they don't have the opportunity to compete and qualify for Armenia at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm, Sweden and that their dream to go to the Olympics was stolen from them.

The dance couple released a video in which they talked about their participation in the World Championships and the reasons why they were left out at the last minute. They were told that their coronavirus tests were positive, but later, they found out that they had received wrong results.

Tina Garabedian: Simon and I represent Armenia in ice dance. We live and train in Montreal with the Ice Academy of Montreal. This past weekend, we went to Stockholm in Sweden to compete at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships, looking to qualify for the Olympics. This is extremely painful for me to say, but our opportunity to compete and qualify for Armenia was stolen from us.

Simon Proulx-Senecal: Before and during the event, we had the number of routine COVID-19 tests, and they were all negative, then ours, before we were supposed to compete, my COVID-19 tests came back positive from the day before. We were shocked because we did not have any symptoms and had not been exposed to anyone that had tested positive. And we had been so careful, not going anywhere outside our bubble, always wearing mask, always using hand sanitizer, we immediately asked for re-test and were told that they would try to have the result back before we were scheduled to compete. We waited and waited in our rooms and didn’t get the result until the competition was over. We were told that my second test was positive again, while Tina was still negative. And this is the painful part: When our team finally received the written test reports, which we had been requesting from the beginning, we learned that the Friday test was negative, not positive. They had given us the wrong information. The test from the day of the competition was actually negative. Now we also know that my first test was a false positive.

Tina Garabedian: There was an announcement that we had withdrawn from the World Championships for medical reasons, but we never withdrew, and there were no medical reasons to withdraw. We were told that we could not compete because of Simon’s positive COVID-19 test which we now know was a false positive. The Armenian Figure Skating Federation has been great and they are asking for a solution from the International Skating Union. We desperately wanted to compete, we felt that we were at the peak of our performance levels, and we were ready. We had been waiting a lifetime for this opportunity, and the pain of being robbed of that chance is only made worse by finding out that it was for no reason at all. Simon never actually had COVID-19. Our dream has always been to go to the Olympics and we were confident that we would have qualified, if we had just been given a chance. We will keep you updated as the situation is being further investigated.

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