Rory McIlroy Pulls Out of Rio Olympics
Top golfer Rory McIlroy has pulled out of the Rio Olympics in Brazil over fears for his health.
The Northern Irish golf star, who is ranked fourth in the world, has withdrawn from the Games due to the threat of the Zika virus.
“After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realize that my health, and my family’s health, comes before anything else,” McIlroy, who is best pals with One Direction star Niall Horan, told the New York Times. “Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take.”
American cyclist Tejay Van Garderen and golfers Marc Leishman of Australia and Vijay Singh of Fiji have also pulled out of the Rio Olympics, citing similar concerns. Tennis ace Serena Williams recently confessed she was having second thoughts about a trip to Brazil.
“I’m not taking Zika lightly,” she told Glamour. “I definitely am going everywhere protected. I’m protecting myself.”
The virus has become an even greater concern for Williams, who is currently dating Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, because she is hoping to become pregnant within the next few years.
“I definitely want to have kids one day,” she smiles. “That’s always something I’ve wanted as long as I could remember.”
International medical professionals have expressed their concerns about the Zika virus after World Health Organization (WHO) officials issued a public warning advising pregnant women to avoid areas where the Zika virus, a new disease transmitted by mosquitoes that causes developmental damage in fetuses, is prevalent.