We live in a very fragile world right now. A world where any tragic news story comes with the question of whether or not terrorism was involved. Instead of wondering this great country and breathing in all the beauty we are so privileged to see, we must now keep one eye open for any kind of suspicion. Whether it’s terrorism, violence in the streets, gun violence, or even just trusting your neighbor, we are all impacted by this in some way. However, every two years, we are allowed to put these troubling realizations on hold for the opportunity to watch the summer and winter Olympic Games.
This year, the summer games are being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With the excitement that the Olympics bring, unfortunately bring a hot topic this year. While security issues are always a concern, the bigger issues with the athletes this year seems to be a virus known as zika. This virus is being primarily transferred by your everyday mosquitos, but can also be transferred sexually. The biggest impact this virus is having on humans, besides the mild flu-like symptoms, is its possible effect on pregnancy. Most recently, it’s been noted that men can transfer this to women while trying to start a family. Naturally, this has caused some fear with Olympic athletes. In the International Business Times article, “Road to Rio”, this issue is discussed in length (visit http://www.ibtimes.com/road-rio-zika-wont-prevent-olympic-dreams-virus-could-eventually-spur-economic-2371441 for the full article). The vibe with this article seems to point in the direction that although there are concerns, the Olympics are an honor and a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of the athletes. Meghan O’Leary, who is representing the United States in rowing backed up this point. “When you put this much sacrifice and commitment into something, you’ll stop at nothing,” O’Leary, 31, said. “It wasn’t even a question for us in terms of whether we’d go or not. We’re 100 percent going.” In a country faced with many political turmoil’s, this health scare couldn’t come at a worse time. The general focus of this article is although there is concern about this issue, athletes are embracing this opportunity to represent their country.
In an article from The Guardian (visit here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/may/23/rory-mcilroy-rio-olympics-zika-threat), this health concern zeroes in on one of golf’s most well-known golfers, Rory McIlroy. Rory has point blank stated that he may very well back out of the Olympics with the fear that this virus will impact his plans of starting a family in the near future. The article goes on to state, “As it gets closer, I am relishing the thought of going down there and competing for gold,” McIlroy said. “But I have been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there have been some articles coming out saying that it might be worse than they are saying. I have to monitor that situation.” There have already been golfers who have backed out of the Olympics, such as Vijay Singh, Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.
Can this virus be as significant as it is being portrayed to be? Will it truly impact the summer Olympics? Will travelers who were once so excited to travel to Brazil back out of their travel plans? These are all questions that will be revealed with time. There is one thing for certain. This fragile world that we live in where our security has never been more questioned now faces health concerns that very well could impact this great tradition. A tradition that for two weeks every two years brings the world together as one to celebrate.