If you’re watching Olympic hockey this week and wondering why players are not shaking hands with competitors, it’s not because of poor sportsmanship; it’s because officials are asking players to fist bump and avoid shaking hands to help prevent the norovirus from spreading even further.
While the U.S. men’s hockey team is following that suggestion, the U.S. women’s team is not.
"That's part of what's special about hockey is the mutual respect and the handshake after," U.S. forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said after Monday’s 5-0 win over Finland put the U.S. women in the gold-medal game, per the Associated Press ( via ABC News ). "In these tournament settings, it's not prelims anymore, so I think shaking hands … it's just respect."
U.S. men’s player Jim Slater, though, said that not only are he and his teammates avoiding shaking hands with opponents, he’s also fist bumping reporters before interviews.
"I do it to everybody,” Slater said. "Touching hands and stuff, you never know where hands are. Just being cautious."
The norovirus has personally impacted U.S. defenseman James Wisniewski, whose 62-year-old father tested positive for the illness at Pyeongchang and is one of 49 people still quarantined because of it.
"It's something that you're like, 'Ah, really how bad can it get?' And then all of a sudden bang, bang — a couple people close to you have it and you don't really know how, you don't know where," Wisniewski said Monday. "You don't want it going through your locker room, that's for sure."