As it stands, Hope Solo would skip the Olympics if fears over the Zika virus don’t subside in Brazil.
It’s been speculated that Zika increases the odds of certain birth defects, and Solo said playing in the Olympics is not worth risking future pregnancies.
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With CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying heading to NBC Live Extra at 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday against Costa Rica (All games of the tournament will be streamed on Live Extra), Solo is set to star between the sticks for the USWNT.
But in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, the 34-year-old netminder is far from ready to commit to the tournament.
She went as far as to say she wouldn’t go if the tournament was today, elaborating in this story from SI.com:
“I would never take the risk of having an unhealthy child,” said Solo, 34. “I don’t know when that day will come for Jerramy and me, but I personally reserve my right to have a healthy baby. No athlete competing in Rio should be faced with this dilemma. Female professional athletes already face many different considerations and have to make choices that male professional athletes don’t.”
Brazilian officials claim there will be minimal risk by the Summer Games because of the change in season, but that won’t alleviate all the concerns of female athletes. It will certainly be interesting to monitor how the situation develops in the coming months.