Rory McIlroy may skip Olympics to avoid Ireland/Great Britain controversy
Golf is returning to the Olympic Games in 2016, and many expect Rory McIlroy to be one of the sport’s top competitors on the world stage. The problem is McIlroy does not know which country he would represent. The 23-year-old hails from Northern Ireland, a country that does not have an Olympic team. Geographically, it would make sense for McIlroy to represent either Great Britain or Ireland. But he doesn’t want to offend anyone.
“I just think being from where we’re from, we’re placed in a very difficult position,” McIlroy said in a new BBC documentary. “I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK. If I could and there was a Northern Irish team I’d play for Northern Ireland.”
In fact, McIlroy hasn’t ruled out the possibility of skipping the event altogether if he can’t make up his mind.
“Play for one side or the other – or not play at all because I may upset too many people,” he explained. “Those are my three options I’m considering very carefully. … People tune in to watch me play on TV and feel like they are connected to me in some way. I don’t want to do repay them for their support with something they don’t want me to do.”
Golf fans are certainly hoping McIlroy decides to participate. If he has to, he should flip a coin on live television or something so the fans know his decision was completely random. Having the world’s best golfer say “no thanks” would be a tough way for the sport to make its Olympic return.
H/T Golf Channel