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Federica Pellegrini, legendary Italian swimmer, tearfully shares coronavirus positive

Federica Pellegrini

Federica Pellegrini (ITA) competes in women’s 100m freestyle during the international swimming trophy Frecciarossa Settecolli in Rome, Italy on August 12, 2020 (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini, an Olympic champion and world-record holder, said in a social media video that she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I have just received the bad news,” the 32-year-old freestyler said in Italian, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) translation. “This afternoon I had a swab, and the result is positive. I am positive for the Covid.”

Pellegrini, the 2008 Olympic champion and world-record holder in the 200m freestyle, said she left a training session Wednesday “in a lot of pain,” then developed a sore throat, according to AFP.

She was expected to race in the International Swimming League this season in a Budapest bubble. Pellegrini was still in Italy when she tested positive and will now quarantine at home, according to Italian reports. The ISL season starts Friday.

“I’m so sorry. I couldn’t wait to restart a normal season,” Pellegrini said, according to AFP. “I do not know whether to laugh or cry. In truth I have cried until now.”

Pellegrini owns six world titles between the 200m and 400m frees, including winning the former in 2017 and 2019, handing Katie Ledecky her first individual major international final defeat in 2017.