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Keegan Messing performs his routine during the senior men's free program at the National Skating Championships, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 in Ottawa.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Canadian figure skater Keegan Messing has finally boarded a plane on his way to the Beijing Winter Olympics, after a positive COVID-19 test delayed his departure and threatened his Olympic trip.

The country’s top male singles skater had to stay put in a Vancouver hotel last week when his teammates boarded their charter flight to Beijing. Messing had tested positive on the first of his two predeparture COVID-19 tests and had to isolate, putting his Olympic dream on hold.

Top athlete Keegan Messing is in COVID-19 limbo as Skate Canada fights for him to get to Beijing

The Canadian champion stayed in Vancouver to train alone and has since produced three negative tests. He will need one more to enter China and attend his second Olympics.

“Keegan is currently flying to Montreal where he will have his final PCR test,” said Skate Canada’s high-performance director Mike Slipchuk on Saturday morning in Beijing. “From Montreal, he will fly on to the Games and is expected to arrive early on Feb. 7, in time to compete in the men’s program.”

Messing has already missed out on skating with Canada in the team event, but he is expected to make it in time for his individual event. The men’s short program takes place Tuesday morning Beijing time, and the free skate is on Thursday.

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