2016 Olympic Games: Team USA Players Shrug Off Zika Virus Concerns
The Zika Virus has been a major talking point in the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. However, Team USA’s players are not worried about traveling to Brazil in August.Advertisement
Carmelo Anthony, the most experienced campaigner in the star-studded 12-man roster, did his due diligence before accepting the Olympic invite. “Yeah, I talked to the doctors. I’ve talked to other doctors that have been over there, my wife dealing with that conversation and the history we’re trying to make,” Anthony said on Monday during the unveiling of the final Team USA roster.
Last week, former World No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy pulled out of the Olympics due to Zika fears. “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,” he said.
2016 Olympic Games: No Curry or LeBron
The likes of Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Chris Paul have also pulled out of the Summer Olympics but none of them cited the Zika Virus as a reason. They cited injury concerns and personal reasons for pulling out of the Rio games.
Team USA’s final 12-man roster: Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan.
Draymond Green, the Golden State Warriors’ all-star forward, revealed that he was set on going to Brazil regardless of the threats posed by the Zika Virus. “I looked into it. I was going, regardless. So I didn’t have to look into it before I made the decision. My mind was made when I committed and said I wanted to be part of this. My decision was made and there was nothing changing that. I have looked into it, obviously, and do what I can do to help myself.”
DeRozan puts onus on authorities….
According to Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, the Olympic authorities will ensure that athletes and fans won’t be at risk come August. “I mean, if it (zika virus) was that big an issue I’m pretty sure they would’ve cancelled stuff. It’s just not us going over there; there’s a wide range of people that are going over there, and I looked at it like if it was that big a concern, things would’ve been cancelled or moved around,” said DeRozan, who enters free agency this Friday.
According to ESPN, “The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to severe birth defects in infants born to women infected with Zika. While doctors are still learning about the virus, studies have shown Zika can also be transmitted sexually.”
The 2016 Olympic Games will be staged in Rio starting August 5.