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.