TOKYO (July 22, 2021) – USA Volleyball learned today that Taylor Crabb, a member of the U.S. Olympic Beach Volleyball Team, has been replaced in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by Tri Bourne due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Crabb was scheduled to compete in his first match on July 25 with partner Jake Gibb.
“After taking every precaution, getting vaccinated and following protocols, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Crabb said in a statement on his Instagram page. “I’m symptom-free, thankfully, but deeply disappointed to not be able to join Jake on the sand and compete as a member of Team USA. I’ve faced adversity before, and I will face it again, but it doesn’t take the sting out of the situation.”
Crabb and Gibb earned an Olympic berth by finishing in the top 15 of the FIVB’s provisional Olympic rankings. Crabb and Gibb are the No. 1 U.S. team and fourth overall in the FIVB world rankings. They earned two medals on the FIVB World Tour during the qualification period, including gold at the 2019 Chetumal four-star and bronze at this year’s Doha four-star.
“I have learned so much from Jake and [coach Rich Lambourne] in the five years we’ve been playing together as a team … That’s where this hurts the most. I want Jake to play in his fourth Olympic Games, and I want him to bring home a medal.”
Bourne was added to the roster on Thursday via the FIVB’s replacement-player protocol. Bourne and partner Trevor Crabb – Taylor’s brother – finished 14th in the provisional Olympic rankings but did not earn a berth due to a limit of two qualified teams per country.
Bourne has played on the international tour since 2014 save for time off 2017-18 to deal with a chronic autoimmune disorder.
“It’s truly disappointing to hear that my dear friend will not be playing in the Tokyo Games,” Bourne said. “Taylor is one of the world’s best and he earned this Olympic spot. He texted me to tell me the news and genuinely wished me the best of luck. As you can see from the statement he released on his Instagram, he’s a class act. I’m very honored to be filling in for him and what he represents: his team, family friends and community back home.
“That being said, I’m ready for this moment. I believe it to my core. Taylor always says, ‘Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,’ and that’s just what I’ve done. Jake Gibb, let’s ball!”
Gibb and Bourne will begin their Olympic schedule on Sunday, July 25 at 10 p.m. in Japan (6 a.m. Pacific) against Italy’s Enrico Rossi and Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich.
“While there is no question that I’m devastated not to be competing, I’ve now taken on a new role – supporting my new team: Rich, Jake and Tri,” Crabb said. “I want to send positive vibes and negative test results to all athletes here in Tokyo – stay healthy and enjoy every moment.”