New York Breaker captain Jeanette Ottesen has left the ISL bubble to be with her husband and daughter, who were originally supposed to live in the bubble with her.
Ottesen addressed her departure on Instagram, assuring fans in a live video that she was not sick and has not tested positive for the virus.
“I went home because I have to be a mom,” Ottesen said on the Instagram live. “I have a baby and I’m not going to be away from her for five weeks.”
Originally, the ISL had approved Ottesen’s husband and coach, Marco Loughran, to join the ISL bubble for the five-week season along with their daughter, Billie-Mai. But the Breakers say that as coronavirus cases began to rise in Budapest, the ISL was forced to shrink the size of its bubble, daughter Billie unable to join the quarantined group.
The change in bubble size came just a week before the season began. Ottesen competed in the season opener for the Breakers, but returned home to Denmark to be with her family for daughter Billie’s first day of school.
“ISL supports athletes who want to stay in the sport longer,” said Breakers GM Tina Andrew. “They’re willing to do whatever it takes, as is evidenced with this that they supported Billie-Mai coming into the bubble. Unfortunately it was out of their control, and the Chief Medical Officer had to make the decision that was necessary and best for all of the athletes and for the league as a whole in keeping the bubble a safe place for all athletes.
“I believe as a mom that it’s impossible to perform your best when you have a bomb dropped on you like that just before a meet,” Andrew continued. “Jeanette gave her absolute 100% best.”
Ottesen spoke glowingly of her brief time with the Breakers this season:
“I had a blast with the New York Breakers and everything was great. But I have to prioritize my family.”
Ottesen scored six points for the Breakers in the season opener, taking 6th in the 100 fly, 8th in the 50 free, 7th in the 50 fly and swimming freestyle legs on two relays. We had projected her as the top swimmer on the roster in the 50 free, 100 free, 50 fly and 100 fly.
The Breakers will supplement their roster with Alicia Tchorz, who wasn’t yet in the bubble for match #1. Tchorz should be the team’s top entrant in the 50 back and 100 back and also adds some freestyle depth to the relays. Tchorz will be a huge addition, as New York took 7th and 8th in the women’s 50 and 100 backstrokes in match #1.