When it comes to the Zika virus and this summer’s Olympics, we’re nearing the point of no return. Athletes from Hope Solo to Rory McIlroy have expressed their concerns over the mosquito-borne disease, with one athlete officially asking out of consideration for Rio Thursday because of the Zika scare.
But while many athletes are in full-fledged panic mode over Zika, that isn’t the case for everyone, including gymnast Gabby Douglas.
Douglas was asked about Zika by the AP Friday, as she prepared for an event this weekend in Hartford, Conn. Based on her response, she doesn’t appear to be the least bit worried.
“It’s the Olympics,” Douglas said Friday. “Mosquitoes? Like, whatever. I’m going. This is my shot. I don’t care about no stupid bugs.”
It’s a bit of a surprising — and admittedly kind of funny — response by Douglas, but it does make sense. At 20 years of age she’s old enough to understand that she doesn’t have many years left in the sport. She’s also young enough where the long-term effects of Zika aren’t really concerning either.
And in Douglas’ defense, she wasn’t alone in her “I’m not worried about Zika” sentiment. Nineteen-year-old Simone Biles shared a similar thought.
“We’re so young, none of us are trying to get pregnant.”
The pair added some other valid points as well, mainly that because of all the time they’ll spend indoors — both competing, and in hotels — the fear of mosquito’s isn’t as much of an issue for them as it is for most.
Still, it’s interesting to hear the other side on Zika, and it’ll be even more interesting to see how many other athletes share the sentiment of Douglas and Biles as we get closer to this summer’s games.