Network News Anchor added to list of athletes not going to Olympics

Network News Anchor not going to Olympics

Savannah Guthrie

Savannah Guthrie announced on NBC’s Today Show that she was pregnant with her second child and will be skipping the Summer Olympics in Rio. Doctors have warned pregnant women not to travel to countries where the Zika Virus is present.

“I’m not gonna be able to go to Rio. The doctors say that we shouldn’t because of the CDC — because of the Zika virus. So I’ll miss it.” — Savannah Guthrie, NBC News Today Show Anchor

“If a major player like Guthrie can back out, then you know other NBC employees will do the same,” said an NBC staffer to FTVLive.

NBC, which is the US TV home for the Olympics, said it has educated its employees and is taking the necessary precautions in covering the Olympics. It is allowing employees to opt out.

“The safety of our team members is always our first priority, NBCUniversal’s medical department has advised all of our Olympic personnel to consult with their personal physicians, and continues to provide the latest information from the CDC and WHO, including basic prevention steps. No NBC personnel assigned to work in Rio will be required to travel if they believe their personal health or safety is at risk.” — NBAC via Statement to CNBC

Athletes opting out; Others concerned

Hope Solo

US Women’s Soccer goalie Hope Solo says she is going, but has concerns. She said she may not leave the hotel or practice facility. She told CNBC she is going “begrudgingly.”

“I strongly believe that no athlete should be put into this position — to decide between your Olympic dreams and your own health,” Hope Solo to CNBC

Tennis star Andy Murray says he needs to get expert opinions first before committing to play. He told the BBC he “will speak to a couple of doctors about it and see what their advice is…I need to get a little bit more information first before making a decision.”

Pau Gasol

NBA stars have expressed concern about the Zika virus in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, home of this summer’s Olympics. Andre Iguadola, Pau Gasol, and possibly even Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have expressed reservations, according to Michael Thompson of the Bay Area News Group.

“I’m thinking about (whether or not to go),” Gasol said. “Just like every athlete, or any other person considering going to Rio, should be thinking about it.” — Pau Gasol to thestar.com

Golden State Warrior and NBA MVP Stephen Curry has announced he’s not going. He told USA Basketball and his team that he wants to use the time to heal his knee. But could the Zika Virus have anything to do with it?

American cyclist Tejay van Garderen recently withdrew his name from consideration for the U.S. Olympic cycling team over concerns about the Zika virus in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. His wife is pregnant and he doesn’t want to take the risk.

Rory McIlroy

SB Nation reports PGA golfer Rory McIlroy had been considering pulling out of consideration. He’s made no formal announcement yet.

“Even if I do contract Zika, it’s not the end of the world… It takes six months to pass through your system and you’re fine.” — Rory McIlroy in thestar.com

Fiji’s Vijay Singh, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, and Australian Marc Leishman cited Zika as his reason for not going to Rio. Jason Day is having second thoughts. “It’s difficult to say right now,” Day told CBC/Canada. “We’re just really trying to monitor what’s going on because we’re not done having kids. I don’t want to have to bring anything back and have the possibility of that happening to us.

“I have a family. I have small children and for me, at least, the trip seems too risky. I might want to get pregnant soon.” — NBC employee told The Daily News.

Defending Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas said she’s definnitely going.

“It’s the Olympics. It’s the Olympics…Mosquitoes, like, whatever. I’m going. This is my shot, this is big. I don’t care about no stupid bugs!” — Gabby Douglas in USA TODAY

Freezing his sperm

British Olympian Greg Rutherford is going, but went so far as to freezing some of his sperm before attending the Olympic Games… just in case.

Should the Olympics be moved or canceled?

150 academics, including a former White House science advisor, sent an open letter to the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggesting the Olympics be canceled or moved. One of the authors is Amir Attaran from University of Ottawa, who has raised the alarm, citing stats that show Rio has recorded 26,000 cases (suspected) of having the Zika virus.

“What is proposed is to bring half-a-million Olympic visitors into the heart of the epidemic. But for the Games, would anyone recommend sending an extra half-a-million visitors into Brazil right now?” — Amir Attaran to the Guardian.

WHO has now responded, saying that the Olympics does not “ significantly alter” any spread of the Zika virus. It says that athletes taking proper precautions should not face any increased risk.

“Based on current assessment, cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus.” — WHO
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