More than a full day after VolleyballMag.com and most major news outlets reported it, and long after Taylor Crabb himself wrote about it on his Instagram page, USA Volleyball finally announced Thursday morning (late night in Japan) that Crabb was out of the Tokyo Olympics.
“After taking every precaution, getting vaccinated & following protocols, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Taylor Crabb wrote on Instagram. “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.”
USA Volleyball said in a news release that “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 and Gibb are in Pool C with Qatar’s Cherif Younousse Samba and Ahmed Tijan Janko, Italy’s Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich and Enrico Rossi, and Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland. They open play against the Italians on Sunday night.
Lucena and Dalhausser are in Pool D with Brazil’s Alison Conte Cerutti and Alvaro Magliano de Morais Filho, Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands, and Argentina’s Julian Amado Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso. “Dalcena” opens play against the Dutch on Saturday.
“I’ve faced adversity before, and I will face it again, but it doesn’t take the sting out of the situation,” Crabb wrote. “I have learned so much from Jake and Rich (Lambourne, their coach) in the five years we’ve been playing together as a team, and much of that has helped me become a better version of myself — one that my family, friends and teammates can count on. 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.”
The Crabb brothers and Bourne all grew up in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Taylor and Trevor Crabb both played indoors at Long Beach State, while Bourne played at USC.
“Tri Bourne, an incredible athlete, person and close friend will be competing alongside Jake and filling my spot on Team USA,” Crabb wrote. “While there is no question I’m devastated to not be competing, I’ve now taken on a new role — supporting my new team Rich, Jake and Tri. I want to send positive vibes and negative test results to all athletes here in Tokyo — stay healthy and enjoy the moment.”
Bourne was quoted by USA Volleyball:
“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!”
Crabb had an tremendous outpouring of support on his Instagram post with hundreds and hundreds of replies.
Gibb said simply, “Love you brother.”
Bourne: “I got you boi!”
Ross: “We’re all in disbelief and know how many precautions we ALL had to take for the last year to compete and especially leading up to the Games, you earned the right to be here and are definitely an Olympian. Though I’d put money on seeing you compete in Paris! Stay strong @tcrabbs”
Klineman: “We’ve been thinking about you and hoping there would somehow be a happy ending to all of this. So bummed for you, but I think it’s safe to say you’re an Olympian in everyone’s eyes. Impressed with your perspective & know you’ll come out stronger from this”
Current Norwegian Olympian Anders Mol: “So unfair! 💔 I know how hard your team has you worked for this moment! Stay strong brother 🙏🏼”
Travis Mewhirter: “Nothing but love for you Tay 💜”
2016 Brazilian Olympian Guto Carvalhaes: “I cant believe my friend 😢”
Winnie Wong, a fixture in the Southern California beach community whose daughter Justine is the libero for the USA women: I am so sorry Taylor! 😢 On the bright side is that you are healthy and injury free! Hopefully 2024 Paris! Will Always be your fan and rooting you! Thank you for loving this sport and entertaining all us with your spectacular plays! Watching this Olympic beach volleyball won’t be the same without you! 💕