Katerina Janatova: My COVID Story

Katerina Janatova, 23, Czechia, currently #17 in the world in FIS Sprint ratings, #47 in distance ratings

This is the very first known case of Covid in elite skiing. Katerina has agreed to share her personal story here to highlight the fact that some 10 months into the pandemics, nobody still knows how the Covid affects elite athletes’ health and performance. In her own words:

…Everything happened quite fast. We were on a camp in Oberhof and I had a training session on skis, where I felt pretty good. During that night I knew something wasn’t right, I started having a fever and a horrific headache. At first I thought it could be from changing temperatures but a few other people on the team also felt iffy. I then decided to head home and have a few days off training. It was only when I lost my sense of smell that I realised that it was most likely Covid19.

I was upset because I was already ill a few weeks before that and couldn’t train properly during time too, Covid meant another few days off training. When I got the positive test results, they told me I had to be in quarantine for 10 days. After 4 days I felt much better but still pretty tired, but I started biking at home (which a managed to break after 9 days).

It was hard because I couldn’t go out, even for walk, but I understood why, so I accepted it. The timing wasn’t the greatest because when I opened social media everyone was skiing or training hard and I was stuck at home with my two cats.

I am afraid about the after-effects because nobody knows anything about this coronavirus especially when it comes high level athletes, with whom every detail counts. Some doctors have told me I may experience some mononucleosis/glandular fever like symptoms. I can only hope everything will be okay but so far I am quite confident because my body feels strong and healthy again.

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After experiencing this, I think people should be more afraid and careful about going out, sharing their car or partying because at the end it’s just not worth it. I am actually glad that it happened in September and not in December because it could destroy a season. And I am grateful that I didn’t have worse symptoms.

Janatova during last season’s race in Östersund
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