When activists asked Brazil’s interim President for money to clean up Rio’s polluted waterways, this was just one more reason for some competitors to decide to pull out of the games. The Zika virus caused the first jitters and more recently, the Reuters report that super-bugs normally found only in hospitals are present in some lagoons and on beaches where water sports events are to be held, may have finally decided others that Rio is just not worth the risk.

Golfers you won’t see tee.

Fiji’s Vijay Singh, who was a one-time world number one player, will not be at the games. The Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida resident cited he would not go because of health concerns.

Other golfers who won’t be teeing off in Rio are South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. Australia’s Marc Leishman had concerns over the health of his wife and fellow countryman Adam Scott is out as well. Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was one of the most recent to withdraw and fellow countryman Graeme McDowell will not go because his wife is pregnant. There are others still undecided. Many of them are passing on the games and are looking to Tokyo’s 2020 games to continue their Olympic experience.


American professional Basketball playerLeBron James has said he will not play in Rio and USA Today reported he joins other big NBA names such as “Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davisand James Harden,” who are giving the games a miss.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sweden’s Captain of the national team chose to retire after Euro 2016 so he won’t be the top goal scorer in Rio this year. Other Soccer players have pulled out but most of them attribute their reasons to personal fitness issues. It seems that in the soccer fraternity saying you don’t want to go to Rio because of a virus is just not done.

Other players who will not go because they just plain don’t want to, or for whatever reason, include Argentina’s Lionel Messi, and two of the USA’s women soccer team players are out because they pregnant. The two players are striker Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez and their withdrawals are completely understandable.


Australia's number onetennis playerNick Kyrgios has opted out of the games and the fiery youth has said his reasons are over disputes with the ATP. Dominic Thiem, a rising superstar from Austria who is ranked at #8 is out and USA’s top player John Isner decided not to go. Bernard Tomic, another Australian tennis professional had cited personal and family reasons for not being at Rio. Other big names that opted out include Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Kevin Anderson from South Africa.


One of the first to pull out of consideration for Rio over Zika virus concerns was the USA cyclist Tejay van Garderen. He is another athlete who is hoping for another shot at the Olympic Games in 2020.

CanadiancyclistRyder Hesjedal also announced he would not go to Rio. He recently had to pull out of the Giro through illness. He had already participated in three consecutive Olympic Games.


Paralympicswimmingstar Jacqueline Freney from Australia pulled out in April, as she is suffering from a mystery illness. Considering the risks that have been revealed over polluted and contaminated water, it seems swimmers are a tough breed as there are few others who have voluntarily pulled out of consideration. There is still time for swimmers to reconsider, however, so this may change. The same can be said for rowers and scullers as so far it seems Ann Watkins of Great Britain is one of the few to step back from the Rio games, saying she felt she was not at the required level of fitness.

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