Rory McIlroy to skip Olympics due to Zika concerns
Rory McIlroy announced on Wednesday that he is withdrawing his name from consideration for the Rio Olympics.
McIlroy, the No. 5 golfer in the world, has changed his mind after saying earlier this month that it would not be “the end of the world” if he contracted the Zika virus while competing in Brazil.
“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer’s Olympic Games,” McIlroy said in a statement, via NBC Sports. “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.”
McIlroy initially said he was considering skipping the Olympics due to Zika concerns but later said he was no longer concerned after gathering more information. He is engaged to a former PGA Tour employee and has said he plans to start a family in the near future.
Many athletes have expressed concern over traveling to Rio for the Olympics this summer, with one NBA player even considering freezing his sperm if he decides to compete. Zika is a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause serious birth complications.