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July 15, 2016: Athletes Opt Out of 2016 Rio Olympics

With a little over one month left before the Games begin, here are the athletes who have already opted out.

Tejay van Garderen

“In June, American cyclist Tejay van Garderen became the first U.S. athlete to withdraw his name from Olympic consideration due to concerns about the virus and the potential effects it could have on his pregnant wife.

“Although the risks associated with the Zika virus can be minimal and precautions can be taken, my wife Jessica is pregnant, and I don’t want to risk bringing anything back that could potentially have an effect,” he said at the time.

Eight of the World’s Top Golfers

“Seven major golf champions have withdrawn from participating in Rio due to concerns about Zika and other conflicts. Although golf is making a return to the Games for the first time since 1904, many of its stars – including Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson and Vijay Singh – will not be participating.

“’While it has always been a major goal to compete in the Olympics on behalf of my country, playing golf cannot take precedent over the safety of our family,’ Jason Day wrote on Twitter. “I will not place them at risk.”

“Jordan Spieth, the number 2 golfer in the world, remains undecided, according to the Telegraph.

Stephen Curry and LeBron James

“Fresh off of a devastating game 7 loss in the NBA Championships, NBA star Stephen Curry also decided to opt out of consideration for the games. Curry cited the need to recover from injuries as his reason for withdrawing, and said Zika ‘didn’t have a bearing’ on his decision – but ‘I followed the reports and kind of got educated on that.’

“Meanwhile, NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, 31, also opted out of the Games, explaining that ‘I could use the rest.’ James has already participated in three Olympic Games, earning two gold medals and one bronze.

Source: People Magazine and USA Today

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