It seemed too good to be true that Rory McIlroy would make it to the Rio Olympics no matter what. The Zika virus may have ruined McIlroy’s chances at gold and golf’s chances of glory.
As golf makes its return to the Olympics, a mosquito transmitted disease could ruin everything. Many golfers have already withdrawn because of this virus and Rory McIlroy is starting to understand why.
McIlroy announced his engagement to Erica Stoll earlier this year and with the Olympics and the Zika virus closing in he needed to think of his future family. Is the risk of a potential health problem for a baby they don’t have yet worth the loss of an Olympic gold medal? Some would say yes and some would say no, but Rory is definitely not taking the situation lightly.
“I’ve been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there’s some articles saying it might be worse than what they’re saying. I have to monitor that situation because there’s going to be a point in time over the next couple of years where we’re going to have to think about starting a family and I don’t want anything to affect that.
Right now I’m ready to go to the Olympics and go down to Rio and try to compete for a gold medal.”
Rory added that he is getting his injections on Wednesday to take any necessary precaution towards the virus and still have the ability to compete!
Masters Champion Danny Willett has echoed McIlroy’s concerns. Willett and his wife just had a baby boy and contemplate the prospect of having more children.
“If it turns out that it would be a massive threat to myself or to Nic [his wife Nicole] or to the little man, then I probably wouldn’t go. Family comes first. But as it stands at the minute, I think everything should be okay.”
It seems as though both golfers are staying positive about attending the games but are monitoring the situation closely. The absence of either of these golfers would be a huge blow to the viewership. Especially if Rory McIlroy withdrew.
This is not an easy call for anyone, especially for two young athletes who are building new families. Let’s hope the Olympics will ensure all of the athletes competing that they are not in harms way, otherwise it will be a sad moment for the game of golf.