In the end, the Rio Olympics could create more headlines about who’s not attending rather than who is. Despite reassurances from Brazil, concerns about the Zika virus are causing many prospective contestants to think over their decision to represent their country at this year’s Olympic games.
Some of the top golfers in the world, including Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott have already sent in regrets, saying that consideration for their own and their family’s health is more of a priority for them than to participate in the world’s biggest sports event.
Czech tennis star Tomas Berdych and this year’s Wimbledon finalist, Canada’s Milos Raonic have also announced that they’re pulling out, saying the risk to themselves and their family outweighs the glory of winning an Olympic medal.
However, other big names, especially on the tennis circuit have confirmed their attendance. Current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon champions Andy Murray and Serena and Venus Williams say they’ve consulted with athletes in Brazil, and with their own doctors, and feel that it’s safe to proceed to Rio, where they’ll compete to win gold for their country.
Roger Federer will also be there; his comment on attending, as could be expected from the ‘unflappable Swiss’ was the coolest. Federer said he would “be careful, use mosquito spray, and hope for the best.” Sounds like the sound advice of a champion.