It's been a quarter century since either Venus or Serena Williams was a part of US Olympic team, but 2021 was meant to be a changing of the guard. So far, things are off to a rocky start. Coco Gauff, the rising star who was meant to lead team USA in Tokyo, recently announced that she would not be able to take part in the Olympics because she has tested positive for COVID-19. Now, many are questioning her vaccination status.
Was Coco Gauff vaccinated?
In a statement released on social media, the 17-year-old tennis phenom announced that she would not be traveling to Tokyo. "It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future," she wrote. Although Coco's statement was clear about her positive test, it didn't mention whether she had been vaccinated.
It is possible to test positive for COVID-19 after you've been vaccinated, although it is less likely than infection among unvaccinated people. Either way, Coco's positive test effectively bars her from competing, which means that she'll have to watch the rest of Team USA's female tennis stars compete from home.
Who are Coco Gauff's parents?
Even though she won't be competing in Tokyo, Coco's future remains bright, and many fans want to know more about her parents. As it turns out, her father Corey was a basketball player at Georgia State, and her mother Candi was a hurdler and heptathlete at Florida State. Both Corey and Candi were successful in their own right, but they changed their lives significantly in order to encourage their daughter's tennis career.
Coco grew up in Atlanta, but both of her parents are from Delray Beach, and they moved back there once Coco began getting serious about tennis. Corey was a healthcare executive, but gave up his career to become Coco's head coach, and Candi is a teacher who now homeschools Coco while they're on the road for tennis.
Although Coco has found great success, her relationship with her dad hasn't always been easy to navigate.
“When I turned, I would say, 12 or 13, we used to argue, because he used to be annoying because he would bring tennis home, and he’s always around me,” Coco told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last year. "So now we talked, and we understand each other now more.”
For his part, Corey has said that his own career as an athlete has helped him deal with his hugely successful daughter.
“I think it helps parents when they have played as high as college or even pro,” Corey told The New York Times. “You better understand the process, and so you don’t get too jittery about it. You don’t feel like you’re running out of time, so you are not rushed. You kind of meet your kid where they are at.”
Coco's vaccination status remains uncertain, but it seems like her relationship with her parents is strong. Hopefully, all three of them have been vaccinated for the sake of her career, and those of the athletes around her.