No fans: US Olympic speedskating trials set for empty arena

China 2022

United States’ Joey Mantia skates during the men’s 1500-meter World Cup speedskating race at the Utah Olympic Oval Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The U.S. Olympic speedskating trials will be held without fans or media because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

US Speedskating made the announcement just two days before the start of the trials at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee.

The five-day trials will determine the long-track team that will represent the U.S. at the Beijing Games. The short track squad was set last month at separate trials in Salt Lake City.

The Beijing Olympics are scheduled to begin Feb. 4 despite a startling rise in COVID-19 cases because of the omicron variant.

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