Irish golf star withdraws from the Olympics in Rio over Zika fears.
Rory McIlroy announced today to not compete in the summer Olympics in Rio because of the Zika virus. Rory McIlroy, who cheered for North Ireland in the Euro 2016 against Germany last night issued a statement this morning:
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"After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. After speaking with those closest to me, I've come to realize that my health and my family's health comes before anything else. 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.
I trust the Irish people will understand my decision. The unwavering support I receive every time I compete in a golf tournament at home or abroad means the world to me. I will continue to endeavor to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it."
According to the Irish Independent, Olympic Council of Ireland has expressed its disappointment. "The OCI is extremely disappointed not to be taking Rory with us to Rio. However, as we have always said, it is down to the individual and of course we respect his decision, which he has taken for personal reasons."
McIlroy is not the only athlete withdrawing from Rio 2016 because of Zika fears. He is though the most famous name to not compete in Rio 201 because of Zika. Athletes not competing at the Olympics in Rio include American cyclist Tejay van Garderen and Australian golfer Marc Leishman.
There is no 100% protection against the Zika virus. The virus can cause severe birth defects and neurological illnesses such as the Guillain-Barré syndrome. Scientists are working on finding a cure. Earlier today we covered new discoveries about Zika virus weaknesses.