MANSFIELD, Texas - A North Texas Olympian got a special sendoff Thursday night with COVID-19 precautions in place.
Jasmine Moore is headed to Tokyo to compete in the triple jump.
Just hours ahead of the opening ceremony, the coronavirus is posing a greater threat for knocking athletes out of their events.
Between cases surging in the U.S., along with Japan, it is unfortunately something athletes will have to try and dodge while also focusing on the biggest competition of their lives.
There is something special about a town sending off one of its own to compete on the world’s biggest stage.
As was the case as people gathered in Mansfield Thursday to celebrate Moore. The Lake Ridge High School alum and triple jumper is bound for Tokyo.
"I’ve just wanted this for such a long time. So to finally be able to compete and represent Team USA in Tokyo, I’m just so grateful and it’s such a big honor and I just want to thank everyone who came out here because it really has been a team effort," Moore said.
And that team is continuing to protect her.
With COVID-19 cases here and elsewhere surging, organizers asked the crowd to keep their celebrations at a distance, so it wouldn’t jeopardize Moore’s opportunity to compete.
"Again, if you would just honor Jasmine, respect the situation she’s in where she can’t be in large crowds, she would love to be around all of you, do pictures, all of that, it just can’t happen," a speaker said before the event.
The pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has already disrupted the games.
American tennis star Coco Gauff was knocked out after a positive test. Gymnast Kara Eaker also tested positive.
Two basketball players and a volleyball player were also knocked out.
One country already backed out, and there's an investigation into a COVID-19 cluster from the Czech Republic delegation.
On Thursday, Tokyo hit a six-month high in new COVID-19 cases.
Just 23% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.
Officials are confident in the restrictions they’ve put in place, including no spectators at any venues in the Tokyo area.
"Under such circumstances, the management of the games, while at the same time taking all possible measures against COVID-19, is a far from easy task," said Naruhito, Emperor of Japan.
Meanwhile, groups of protesters in Tokyo continue to oppose the games, calling for them to be canceled.
For the athletes, like Moore, who’ve spent years dreaming of this moment, all they can do is trust the science and hope this virus doesn’t impact their ability to do what they do best…
"I mean, I’m vaccinated, I plan to follow all the protocols, wear my mask and just stay safe and as far away from everybody as I can," Moore said. "It’s obviously something that I’ve worked so hard for for such a long time."
Moore talked about seeing some friends from elementary school out at that sendoff.
There’s no doubt many in Mansfield and North Texas will be waking up early to watch Moore compete. Her first competition is set for July 30.