Meet the team bringing you Olympics coverage amid strict COVID-19 requirements

China 2022

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just a few months ago, the Summer Olympics wrapped up in Tokyo — and now the world is less than 100 days from the next Winter Olympics in Beijing, which kicks off Feb. 4.

While there are usually at least two years separating the Games, the pandemic forced a postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021, along with safety changes including frequent testing and quarantining for those entering the country.

China is expected to have even stricter safety measures, the Associated Press reports. Family, fans outside the country and sponsors won’t be allowed to attend. Athletes will have to stay in a “closed loop” and won’t be able to venture outside the Olympic bubble, as they train, compete and live in the designated areas.

Vaccines are also required for all participants.

Meet the team covering China 2022

Nexstar has put together a team of reporters and photojournalists from across the country to cover the winter games in Beijing and bring you stories from inside the Olympic bubble. A number of these faces will be familiar from the Tokyo Olympics — but we also have a few new additions.

Jack Doles has covered every major sporting event and this Olympics will be his 12th (count ’em: Calgary, Seoul, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Torino, Beijing, Sochi, Rio, PyeongChang, Tokyo…and soon…Beijing!). He’s a sports director at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Andrew Marden has covered three Olympic Games for Nexstar, making China his fourth Games (He traveled to Rio, PyeongChang and Tokyo before this). He’s the Sports Director at KSEE in Fresno, California.

Marielena Balouris is an anchor and reporter at WAVY in Norfolk, Virginia. She recently returned from covering her first Olympics in Tokyo and is back for more.

Matt Barnes is also coming off his first Olympics in Tokyo and pivoting to coverage of the Winter Games. He’s an anchor and reporter at WCMH in Columbus, Ohio.

Jala Washington is a reporter at KXAN in Austin, Texas, and this is her first time covering the Olympics. She’s a former gymnast who competed for Ball State University.

Jeff Myers is heading to his third Olympics. He is the news operations manager and chief photographer at WAVY in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dave Kraut is a photojournalist at WFLA in Tampa, Florida. Dave has covered hurricanes, the space program and other major sporting events, but this will be his first time covering the Olympics for Nexstar.

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