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Hope Solo would skip Olympics due to Zika virus

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing spread of the Zika virus has threatened to cause plenty of problems ahead of the 2016 Olympics, and U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo is certainly concerned about what lies ahead.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Solo stated that she would skip this summer’s Olympic Games due to the virus. Zika, which is linked to birth defects in newborn children and is spread by mosquitos, has proven to be a major issue in several of the cities currently scheduled to host this summer’s tournament. According to Dr. Celine Gounder, women should wait at least one to three months after recovering from the virus to become pregnant.

“I would never take the risk of having an unhealthy child,” said Solo.”I don’t know when that day will come for (husband Jerramy Stevens) 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.

“We accept these particular choices as part of being a woman, but I do not accept being forced into making the decision between competing for my country and sacrificing the potential health of a child, or staying home and giving up my dreams and goals as an athlete. Competing in the Olympics should be a safe environment for every athlete, male and female alike. Female athletes should not be forced to make a decision that could sacrifice the health of a child.”

An unnamed USWNT player echoed Solo’s concerns, while insisting that she would continue to research on how the virus progresses before making a formal decision.

“The Zika virus is definitely a concern to me,” the player said. “I’m obviously keeping an eye on what’s going on in the news. I do know that it’s spreading and they don’t really have a vaccination to treat it, so it’s definitely worrisome.

“But at the end of the day I think there are a lot of things that come up pre-Olympics that are somewhat concerns, and this is kind of a bigger concern than it was with Beijing and smog and London with potential terrorist attacks. But the place we’re at right now with Olympic qualifying, we’re pretty much focused on that right now, and we’ll track it to see what’s happening. We may be playing in Manaus, which is probably loaded with mosquitoes. But I’m sure our doctors will inform us and keep us in the loop as to what’s going on.”

What do you think of the issues raised by the Zika virus? How would you expect it to affect the Olympics?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Im convinced her and her husband will conceive their child the same way Hope was conceived…during a conjugal visit.

  2. Good, it’s time for a new GK on the USWNT anyway. She’s lucky to still have a spot. And while it’s certainly her “right” to have a baby, it’s really more of a biological and social privilege. Speaking of social responsibility, I really hope her and Stevens are not planning on having a child… unless it will make for good reality TV laughs.

  3. your health comes first Solo plain and simple. If you conceive a child that is handicap no one will be there for you every step of the way…not USSOCCER, not your teammates or your coaches….just you. Weight the risks and do what is best for you, your husband and your future

      • That’s what a lot of people thought until their baby showed up with a “cone-shaped” head. It is suspected to be dormant in a host and known now to be transmitted sexually too. Too many unknowns in play here, that why she needs to weigh the risks

      • I kind of think that men have no business telling a woman how to take care of their health problems, especially when it comes to pregnancy, possible pregnancy, or sex. And what if her birth control fails, she doesn’t know it, and plays while she is pregnant, without knowing she is pregnant? Most women aren’t going to find out about a pregnancy until about 6 weeks on. Also, women athletes often have inconsistent cycles so that a missed period is more difficult to detect.

  4. Hope Solo has much less to be worried about than she thinks. Zika isn’t an issue unless you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant in the immediate future. As in the next week or so. The virus only lasts in the bloodtream 5-7 days, and you can be tested for it. So if you are not pregnant before you go to Brazil, and you take precautions while there, you will be in the clear 10 days after you get back even if you get bitten by a mosquito carrying the disease. The same is true for men — wait 10 days after you get back and you won’t cause a problem. The only compelling reason for someone not to go is if you are already pregnant.

    • +1, no one needs ignorant people drumming up panic with misinformation…she could have saved herself days of badgering and hundreds of negative tweets by doing 5 minutes worth of research on Wiki.

  5. ““I would never take the risk of having an unhealthy child,” said Solo. “I do, however, reserve the right disregard the health of family members children when I fist fight them”, Solo continued, “I’m also not concerned with the risk of endangering the health of other families children when partake in drunk driving.”


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