Jason Day, one of the best and most successful golfers in the world, announced on Tuesday that he would not be taking part in the upcoming Olympics competition due to the outbreak of Zika virus in South America. This is the second golf star, after Rory McIlroy, to announce that he will not be taking part in this year’s Olympics.
In a press briefing, Jason said that his decision was based on his concerns about possible transmission of the virus to his body when taking part in the tournaments and the ripple effects that such an infection could have on his wife and family as a whole. He went on to mention that he always gives his family top preference over everything else in his life.
Other golfers who have opted to skip the competition are Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, Marc Leishman of Australia whose wife is yet to recover fully after suffering from severe toxic shock syndrome last year, and Shane Lowry of Ireland.
Jason also stated that he was unsure if his actions would trigger more players to pull out of the competition. He also said that some of the players who are young and single could take chances, but for the players who are married or planning to settle down, it is a difficult decision to make. Other athletes outside golf who have opted out include Stephen Curry, a sensational Basketball player, and American cyclist Tejay van Garderen. Curry did not, however, specify the reason why he decided not to take part in the competition, but rumor has it that the virus outbreak could be one of the underlying factors that motivated him to opt out.