MONTREAL: Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard will play at the Rio Olympics next month, after weighing the risks posed by the Zika virus and security concerns in Brazil.
“It was a hard decision for me and I definitely thought about all the pros and cons,” Bouchard told the media at the weekend as she prepared to play in the WTA hardcourt tournament in Montreal.
“But at the end of the day, I knew in my heart I didn’t want to be sitting at home watching the Olympics on TV. Also knowing I might have two or three Olympics in my career, I felt that the decision to go was the right one.” Bouchard is currently ranked 42nd in the world.
Her compatriot Milos Raonic, Romania’s Simona Halep and Czechs Tomas Berdych and Karolina Pliskova have all decided not to play in Rio, with Zika among the biggest concerns.
The mosquito-borne virus has been leaked to birth defects and, more rarely, neurological problems. The men’s golf competition in Rio has been even harder hit than tennis by the withdrawal of the world’s top players.
Top-ranked Australian Jason Day, Americans Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy have all elected to miss golf’s return to the Summer Games after 112 years.