Auburn Swimmer Santiago Grassi Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Santiago Grassi, one of the three Argentinian swimmers who have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games, contracted COVID-19 in the United States. Grassi has resided in the U.S. for four years as a member of the Auburn University swim team in Alabama.

The butterfly specialist announced his diagnosis through Instagram a few hours after receiving the lab results:

“On Wednesday night I went to sleep with a slight fever, the next day I felt very weak. I decided to call and do the test: the results came in today and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Grassi clarified. “In the next 14 days, I will be here at home, serving my quarantine. I’m fine, even much better than yesterday, just a little cold.”

Santiago Grassi is the current record-holder for the Argentine butterfly events, after clocking 23.65 in the 50-meter at the Mare Nostrum championship last year and 51.88 registered in the Richard Quick Invite in Auburn, also in 2019. A few days later, during the Pan-American Games, Grassi wound up swimming at 51.92, obtaining the FINA A cut for the Tokyo Games, now postponed to 2021.

A Pan-American medalist in Toronto 2015, Grassi already debuted at the Olympic stage in Rio four years ago, just as he was arranging his incorporation to Auburn University, where he is a senior majoring in Marketing and Management of Information Systems.

He finished his NCAA career in February at the SEC Championships, after the NCAA CHampionship meet was cancelled, with 7 All-America honors.

His 2020 season was hampered not only by rescheduling Tokyo 2020 for next year, but also by the possibility of signing his first contract as a professional swimmer for the International Swimming League (ISL). As SwimSwam Espanol anticipated two months ago, Santiago Grassi awaits official confirmation to enter the ISL, hired by a team that already debuted in the inaugural season for the novel international league.

Delfina Pignatiello, who has earned “A” cuts in the 400, 800 and 1500-meter freestyle, and Julia Sebastian, who has qualified in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke, are the other two Argentinian swimmers who have already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

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Narrow Miss
2 years ago

I’m glad to hear he is feeling better. He was scheduled to be at a Fitter and Faster swim clinic in PA next weekend. That would have been disastrous for those swimmers and their families.

Reply to  Narrow Miss
2 years ago

Good that he got tested…

Reply to  Narrow Miss
2 years ago

Why would it have been disastrous for those families? – they might catch the cold too?

Reply to  Anonymous
2 years ago

Please don’t trivialise something that has killed over half a million people.

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

Are you talking about covid or the cold now? The cold has a much higher kc btw

Better Safe
Reply to  Anonymous
2 years ago

Cold symptoms for some people and a ventilator for others. Better safe than sorry.

OG Prodigy
2 years ago

Hate to see it, hope his training situation was respecting social distance. Get well soon Santiago!

Captain Ahab
2 years ago

This is like reporting that one individual has caught a cold.

Clown Show
Reply to  Captain Ahab
2 years ago


GA Boy
Reply to  Captain Ahab
2 years ago

Except for that it’s not….. while I agree that COVID responses are blown out of proportion right now, there is no denying that it is worse than a cold. Look at some stats, they’re readily available. Definitely worse than a cold.

Reply to  GA Boy
2 years ago

Except that he described it as “just a little cold”

2 years ago

I can only imagine this would be very stressful, in addition to the sickness. Hope he gets well soon!