Milos Raonic, the Canadian tennis superstar, has announced his decision to miss the upcoming Olympic Games at the Rio de Janeiro due to the increasing chances of catching a ZIKA virus.
Raonic, who is currently ranked 7th on the ATP list, and who most recently played in the final match of the Wimbledon tournament, has informed the public that he was worried about the ZIKA virus and that this decision was very hard for him to make.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my withdrawal from participation in the Rio Games. After much deliberation with my family and coaches, I am making this decision for a variety of health concerns including the uncertainty around the Zika virus,“ Raonic explained his decision and continued…“This was a very hard decision for me and I would not want to affect any other athletes who plans to travel to the Olympics.“
„I would like to thank the Canadian Tennis Federation and Olympic Committee on the support. I am extremely proud on the fact that I have represented Canada during the Olympic Games in London in 2012, and during couple of the Davis Cup matches,“ Raonic concluded his statement.
On the other side, the No.5 on the WTA list, Simona Helep has also most recently informed the public she will not participate at the Olympic Games in Brazil.
„My family is extremely important to me and I cannot take any risks of catching the Zika virus if I want to start my own family once I finish my tennis career.“
OTHER ATHLETES TO MISS Rio de Janeiro
The basketball tournament at the Olympics will also miss some of the greatest athletes. Namely, Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors and one of the best basketball players in the World, has already informed his friends and family that he will miss the Olympics.
Dominic Thiem, John Isner and Feliciano Lopez are additional tennis players that have decided to rather play ATP tournaments worldwide and miss the Olympics. To clarify their decision, they said that they are concerned about their health and on the other side they would rather play tournaments that bring ranking points, compared to the Olympics, which do not bring any ranking points.
Despite the fact that many athletes have expected the Brazilian Government to do some extensive analysis to minimize the chances of athletes catching the Zika virus, this did not happen, and therefore many athletes have decided to skip the Olympics.
With only couple of weeks left before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, it remains unclear if the athletes are 100% protected from catching the Zika virus and if any more athletes will decide to pull out from the competition in the last moment.
Words By: Admir Aljic