Zika Fears Cause Rio Athlete Resignations

Zika Fears Cause Rio Athlete Resignations

It’s 2016, the year of the Olympics. In August, the best athletes in the world will gather together in Rio to compete for a gold medal. Or will they?

Actually, no. Many fan favorites such as Carmleo Anthony, LeBron James, and golfer Jason Day, will not be appearing at this years games. Why?

Zika.

A substantial amount of athletes are making the decision not to appear in this years games for fear of contracting the virus. Jason Day explained,

“I have always placed my family in front of everything else in my life. Medical experts have confirmed that while perhaps slight, a decision to compete in Rio absolutely comes with health risks to me and my family. My wife Ellie and I have been blessed with two wonderful and healthy children and our plans is to have more. While it has always been a major goal to compete in the Olympics on behalf of my country, playing golf cannot take precedent over the safety of our family. I will not place them at risk.”

You see, while the typical symptoms of the virus (rash, headache, and joint pain) are not what you would consider “severe,” the virus has also been listed as a contributing factor in some adults contracting a muscle-weakening disease called Guillain Barre Syndrome. Some athletes are also concerned for their newborn/future children, as the virus has been linked to causing neurological disorders within this group.

While the World Health Organization has given the go-ahead to continue on with the games, each athlete is at their own discretion as to whether or not they will participate. A decision which could hold dire consequences considering most athletes only have the opportunity to participate in the games once or twice in their lifetimes.

But, even though the WHO has deemed it safe, there are doctors who aren’t so sure. Recently, a group of world’s top doctors and medical professionals, have asked the WHO to either change the venue or postpone the games, amid growing concerns.

What do YOU think? Are the athletes making the right decision by opting to remain home?

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