Effective Nov. 1, 2021, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will require all employees, athletes, contractors and others to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or obtain a medical or religious exemption prior to accessing USOPC facilities – including the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Centers – and all events or activities hosted by the USOPC’s internally managed sports. As of Dec. 1, 2021, this mandate will also extend to all Team USA delegation members or hopefuls for future Games.
The health and well-being of our Olympic and Paralympic community continues to be a top priority. This step will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff, and allow us to restore consistency in planning, preparation and optimal service to athletes.
In addition to the vaccine requirement, we will continue our standard mitigation policies and protocols as outlined in the following:
- Beijing Delegation Terms
- U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Trials Participant Rules – COVID-19 Mitigation Measures
- U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Centers COVID-19 Playbook
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the CDC website
USOPC Vaccine Requirement and Access Protocols
- If you have not submitted proof of your full vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption from the USOPC, your access card will be deactivated on Nov 1.
- For NGB personnel who are based at a USOPC facility, your information will either be captured through the USOPC vaccine verification process, or the USOPC has contacted your human resources team for pertinent information to manage your access. This does not apply to NGB tenets at Sport House, who will maintain access to that facility.
- For NGB staff who regularly access a USOPC facility for business, your card will initially be deactivated on Nov. 1. For NGB staff who have a business need to access a USOPC facility, please send a picture of your vaccine card or approved exemption to Rick Crosslin and Tracy Ellis to reactivate your access. Again, this procedure does not apply to NGB tenets accessing their workspace at Sport House.
- For athletes and NGB staff who are part of an OPTC resident program or camp, your information will be captured through event registration if it is not already on record with the USOPC.
- For athletes and staff who are planning to participate at a camp, activity or event hosted by an internally managed sport, your information will be captured through event registration if it is not already on record with the USOPC.
- All individuals who do not have a USOPC access card and who require access inside a USOPC building for more than one hour will be required to show a photo ID and their vaccination card to gain access to the facility.
- All contractors/vendors with a USOPC access card will also be required to provide proof of their full vaccination or have an approved exemption, and daily testing from their employer. It is the responsibility of the USOPC or NGB contract owner to ensure that each vendor complies with the USOPC’s vaccine requirement. If you believe your vendor is in breach of contract, please contact Rick Crosslin and Tracy Ellis to deactivate their access card(s), and Bert Troisfontaines with the USOPC legal team for guidance on next steps. Please notify USOPC security if you want to deactivate vendor badges on Nov. 1 until you can verify compliance with the vaccine mandate.
- For individuals with a USOPC-approved medical or religious exemption, you are required to test daily prior to accessing a USOPC facility or participating in an internally managed activity or delegation event. Below are the testing locations and times. Non-athletes will be asked to remain at the testing site until their test result is confirmed. Athletes may leave the testing site after their test sample is collected and will be contacted if their results are positive or inconclusive. Those who need to access USOPC headquarters in Colorado Springs, should plan to test at the CSOPTC.
Testing Locations:Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center
Monday-Sunday 4:30-8:30 a.m. and 12-4 p.m. MT
Testing Location: Building 23 (please use the north entrance – Map)
Lake Placid Olympic & Paralympic Training Center
Monday-Sunday 5:30-10 a.m. ET
Testing Location: LPOPTC Visitor Museum, adjacent to the main entrance (ask front desk for assistance)
Chula Vista Olympic & Paralympic Training Site
Monday-Friday 7-10 a.m. PT
Testing Location: Boathouse (Map)
Frequently Asked Questions
Who does the USOPC’s vaccine requirement apply to?
By Dec. 1, 2021, athletes must also have submitted proof of vaccination to the USOPC or have been granted an exemption as a condition of participation at future USOPC delegation events, such as Olympic and Paralympic Games, Pan and Parapan American Games and Youth Olympic Games.
National Governing Bodies
However, please note that accelerated timelines will be required for some employees based on their role. As of Nov. 1, 2021, employees must show proof of vaccination or be granted an exception prior to accessing any USOPC facility (such as HQ or the training centers) or serving at a camp, activity or event hosted by an internally managed sport.
Additionally, all delegation members or potentials who will support Team USA at the Games, will need to show proof of vaccination or be granted an exemption by Dec. 1, 2021. Please consult your people manager to determine if one of these scenarios applies to you.
As of Nov. 1, all new USOPC employees are required to provide verification of their vaccination status or be granted an exemption prior to their start date.
Which sports are internally managed by the USOPC and how are these national team athletes and sport activities impacted by the vaccine requirement?
All participants at any camps, activities and events for the following internally managed sports will be required to adhere to the vaccine mandate as of Nov. 1, 2021:
- Para Alpine Skiing
- Para Cycling
- Para Nordic Skiing
- Para Snowboarding
- Para Swimming
- Para Track and Field
Any U.S. national team athlete who represents one of the above sports who has not submitted proof of their full vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption from the USOPC, will be removed from the U.S. national team roster as of Nov. 1, 2021. In addition, they may not participate in any internally managed sport events, camps or activities, and will not have access to USOPC training facilities. Failure to meet this vaccine requirement by Dec. 1, 2021, will also mean that they will not be eligible to participate at USOPC delegation events such as the Paralympic Games.
For these athletes, Elite Athlete Health Insurance will continue until the end of their current national team agreement. However, and consistent with any other case in which an individual is not compliant with national team requirements, the USOPC will suspend and accrue (if applicable) direct payments and other athlete support benefits until they are fully compliant with the vaccine requirement.
What is the deadline to meet the vaccine requirement?
Effective Nov. 1, 2021, you will need to be fully vaccinated or approved for an exemption by the USOPC to be permitted access to USOPC facilities (i.e. training centers and/or physical offices) or participate at an activity, camp or event hosted by an internally managed sport. Additionally, as of Dec. 1, 2021, all Team USA delegation members and hopefuls for future Games will need to submit documentation of their full vaccination, or be granted an exemption as a condition of participation.
Nov. 1, 2021
Dec. 1, 2021
Dec. 31, 2021
Consistent with CDC guidelines, the USOPC will accept proof of any COVID-19 vaccination that is authorized or approved by the FDA or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
Are booster shots required to meet the USOPC’s vaccination requirement?
Not at this time. The USOPC’s vaccine requirement follows CDC guidance related to booster shots, which indicates certain groups (e.g., 65 and older, 50-64 with medical conditions, those living in long-term care settings, etc.) should get a COVID-19 booster, while those between ages 18-49 with a medical condition or who live or work in a high-risk occupation may get a booster. Currently, the CDC does not require boosters to be considered fully vaccinated, although boosters are strongly recommended for these populations. The USOPC will adjust its definition of “fully vaccinated” in accordance with CDC guidelines.
How can I get vaccinated or schedule an appointment?
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is free and easy. Please use your state system to access the vaccine wherever you live. Visit the CDC website for a list of vaccination locations in your area and more information on how to schedule an appointment or walk in today. Team USA athletes who are seeking support, please contact a USOPC health care navigator at (800) 933-4473, Ext. 2 or email@example.com.
When do I become fully protected after receiving the vaccine?
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If it has been less than two weeks since your last shot or if you still need to get your second dose, you are not considered fully protected.
How can I submit my COVID-19 verification records?
Online resources and a personalized link to submit your vaccine verification, or to apply for a medical or religious exemption, will be available and distributed by Oct. 1 for USOPC employees, the OPTC community and national team athletes for internally managed sports. All Beijing delegation members and hopefuls will receive more information and a link to upload your vaccination records once the long list is finalized in mid-October. Online resources will be specific for:
- USOPC employees and contractors
- Team USA delegation members and hopefuls for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022
- OPTC community for training center usage
- National team athletes for internally managed sports
Documentation of your full vaccination, or granted exemption, should be submitted prior to your arrival at a USOPC facility, internally managed sport activity or delegation event. Please upload your documentation once you have been fully vaccinated (e.g. following your second shot in a two-dose series).
How do I know if my records have been received and verified?
Once you enter and upload your information, your records will be reviewed. Please allow one week for processing. If you are in the process of receiving a two-dose vaccine series, you will not be considered in compliance until the second dose is submitted and reviewed. Once that process is complete, you will receive a secure message indicating that your records have been verified.
Medical and Religious Exemptions
The USOPC will offer individuals the opportunity to apply for a medical or religious exemption through an independent third party. Requests for exemptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Vaccination Requirement Application Panel (i.e. Vax RAP). Sample versions of the exemption request forms for athletes and NGBs can be found below. Please note, you will still need to submit your vaccination status through the personalized link provided to you via email.
How long will the exemption process take?
Please allow up to one week for your exemption request to be reviewed. You will be notified that your request has been approved or denied within that time.
What will happen if I’m unvaccinated and granted an exemption?
For unvaccinated individuals who are granted an exemption, we will require daily COVID testing for any day(s) that you would be accessing a USOPC facility, participating in an activity hosted by an internally managed sport, or representing Team USA at a delegation event such as the Games. You will also be required to follow all other COVID protocols as outlined in the above policy documents for the Games, Trials, training centers and workplace. We will monitor COVID prevalence and CDC guidelines and may change these requirements as necessary.
If I am granted an exemption, who pays for the daily testing?
For any USOPC employee, contractor, Beijing delegation member, or a resident athlete at one of our training centers, the USOPC will cover the cost of daily testing for anyone with an approved exemption. For camps that come to an OPTC, the NGB will be responsible for covering the costs.
What happens if I apply for an exemption and am not approved? Is there a process for me to challenge that?
For non-USOPC employees who apply for an exemption and are not approved, there is an opportunity for review of that decision and such review will be handled by the appropriate panel, such as the OPTC Review Panel or the Games Administrative Board, which includes athlete representation. For USOPC employees who apply for an exemption and are not approved, this will be handled as an employment matter without an opportunity for review.
NGBs and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Trials
No. However, we strongly believe that the best solution for the Olympic and Paralympic community is to have the highest percentage of vaccinated individuals, and we highly encourage NGBs to consider implementing their own vaccine requirements for their employees, and the facilities and events they manage. The vaccine requirement, will however, apply to all NGB staff who are based at an Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, given the proximity to athletes. Per the lease agreement, it will not apply to NGB staff based at Sport House in Colorado Springs.
What about U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Trials or NGB-owned events?
NGBs will determine the COVID-19 protocols at the 2022 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Trials.
Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and new variants of the virus emerge, the USOPC is dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of our community, both at home and globally. Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from over. The vaccination requirement will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff in Beijing.
What if I am on the long list for the Beijing 2022 Games and am not yet vaccinated? Do I have to get vaccinated by Nov. 1 to qualify?
We recommend you adhere to the guidelines of the policy as soon as possible. To be eligible to participate as a member of the Team USA delegation or long list for the Beijing Games, you need to be vaccinated or have received an exemption by Dec. 1.
Will I know whether my teammate, roommate, coach, service provider, etc., has been granted an exemption?
No, due to privacy concerns, we will not be able to reveal individuals’ vaccination status.
Athletes Living and Traveling Abroad
Being a member of a USOPC delegation and/or accessing one of our facilities or internally managed sport activities will require vaccine verification or an approved exemption. If you are an athlete living or training abroad and experience difficulties receiving the vaccine, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to determine how we can best support you.
What if I am competing during the mandatory timeframe to get the vaccine and I am unable to comply in time? Can I get an extension?
Being a member of a USOPC delegation and/or accessing one of our facilities or internally managed sport activities will require vaccine verification or an approved exemption. As we prioritize the health and safety of our full community, we will not grant extensions to the timeline outlined above. If you have questions or concerns, please contact email@example.com to determine how we can best support you.
Olympic and Paralympic Training Centers
How will this impact the OPTCs?
Implementing this requirement will allow us to operate the training centers with more consistency. This will also enable us to remove the capacity limits we had to implement since the summer of 2020. We will continue to have COVID mitigation protocols to keep everyone safe. Please review the OPTC COVID Playbook for more details.
I’m an OPTC resident athlete. What happens if I can’t complete my full vaccination series by Nov. 1?
For OPTC resident athletes who are not yet vaccinated, you will need to begin the vaccination process as soon as possible to comply with the Nov. 1 deadline. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Will this requirement apply to athletes attending camps at the OPTCs?
Yes. All camp athletes, whether domestic or international, will need to be fully vaccinated or have been granted an exemption prior to arrival at either training center in Colorado Springs or Lake Placid. While the requirement will apply to all USOPC employees, it will not apply to individuals accessing the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista.
For general questions, contact email@example.com.
For independent and confidential advice, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719-866-5000.
For mental health support, contact email@example.com and visit TeamUSA.org/mentalhealth.
For general questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For support with your personalized link to submit proof of vaccination or apply for an exemption, contact email@example.com.