Olympics alternate from northeast Ohio gets last-minute call to Tokyo

Japan 2020

(WKBN) – A northeast Ohio native had to scramble to get his bags packed after getting last-minute notice that he’d be competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

Matt Ludwig, of Chardon, was an Olympic alternate in pole vaulting.

Late Wednesday night, the University of Akron graduate got word that another athlete tested positive for COVID-19. The short notice call gave Matt just six hours to get packed and catch his flight to Tokyo.

“It was 10:45, 11 p.m. at night,” Ludwig said. “Just sort of sitting in my apartment, I got a call from my manager. He said, ‘Hey, a little bit of bad news but a little bit of good news. It sounds like Sam has tested positive so they’ll be in contact with you. So get your stuff ready for Tokyo. You have a flight in the morning.'”

Ludwig will compete in the men’s pole vault later Friday.

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