Faces You Won’t See in Rio: Athletes Skipping the Olympics

Some athletes are opting out of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, citing injuries or concern about the Zika virus, among other reasons.

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These Athletes Won't Be Competing in The Rio Summer Olympics.
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Roger Federer will be <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/roger-federer-pulls-out-2016-rio-olympics">missing</a> the Rio Olympics as well as the rest of the 2016 season because of a knee injury. "Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year," Federer announced on Facebook.
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The International Golf Federation's president announced on July 11 that Spieth, the world's No. 3 golfer, would not compete, citing <a href="http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports/Jordan-Spieth-Will-Not-Compete-in-Rio-Olympics-386311601.html" target="_blank">"health reasons."</a>
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Curry, who sprained his MCL in the first round of the NBA playoffs, says he is sitting out the Olympics to focus on recovering after a grueling season with the Golden State Warriors. "It’s an incredible honor to represent your country and wear ‘USA’ on your chest, but my primary basketball-related objective this summer needs to focus on my body and getting ready for the 2016-17 NBA season,” <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/stephen-curry-skip-rio-olympics" target="_blank">he said</a>.
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Keyur Khamar/US PGA TOUR
Jason Day, the world's No. 1 golfer, announced he was skipping the Olympics because of concerns about the Zika virus. "The sole reason for my decision is my concerns [sic] about the possible transmission of the Zika virus and the potential risks that it may present to my wife's future pregnancies and to future members of our family," Day <a href="/news/sports/Jason-Day-No-1-Golfer-Pulls-Out-Rio-Olympics-Zika-Concerns-384675751.html">said.</a>
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Van Garderen, a member of the 2012 USA Olympic cycling team, opted out of the selection process, citing his wife's pregnancy and Zika virus fears as his main reason. “If Jessica were not pregnant right now, assuming I was selected, I would go,” van Garderen <a href="http://cyclingtips.com/2016/06/citing-zika-virus-pregnant-wife-van-garderen-withdraws-name-from-olympic-selection/" target="_blank"> told CyclingTips.</a>
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Griffin, who plays for the Clippers, sat out most of the NBA playoffs because of a quadriceps injury, and will be missing the Olympics as well. He received a bone marrow transplant to his left quadricep in late April and is still recovering.
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Isner, America's top tennis star who is ranked No. 16 globally, is sitting out the Olympics because it will not help improve his ranking. He's opted to participate in the BB&T Atlanta Open in Georgia instead, where he can earn ranking points. "I would say (it's been) 70 to 80 percent, probably, negative feedback I have received," he said of the <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/rising-star-thiem-top-us-man-isner-skipping-olympic-tennis" target="_blank">responses to his decision</a>.
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LeBron James, the 2016 NBA Finals MVP, <a href="/news/national-international/Agent-LeBron-James-Will-Not-Play-in-Rio-Olympics-384189461.html">withdrew</a> from consideration for Team USA after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first-ever NBA title this year. “I could use the rest,” James told Cleveland.com.
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The three-time Olympic medalist and second-fastest woman of all time told fans a <a href="http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Carmelita-Jeter-Wont-Compete-in-Rio-Olympics-385080531.html" target="_blank">leg injury</a> will keep her from attending the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in July.
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AP
In this July 3, 2016, file photo, Dustin Johnson tees off on the second hole during the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Johnson released a statement through one of his representatives on Friday, July 8, 2016, that he is withdrawing from the Olympics because he is concerned about the Zika virus.
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Leonard withdrew from consideration for Team USA, <a href="http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/06/23/report-kawhi-leonard-not-playing-for-team-usa-in-olympics/" target="_blank"> saying</a> “It’s an honor to have been considered for the team and I hope that in the future I will have the chance to represent my country by playing for USA Basketball.”
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McIlroy, of Ireland, is skipping this summer Olympics because of concerns about the Zika virus. "Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low," <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/McIlroy-Out-of-Rio-Olympics-Over-Zika-Concerns--383917881.html" target="_blank"> McIlroy said,</a> "it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take."
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The Clippers player said he is sitting out this Olympics, saying his body needs some down time. Paul, who previously played in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/chris-paul-wont-play-us-olympic-basketball-team" target="_blank">said,</a> "I feel my body telling me that I could use the time."
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Singh says he's decided not to compete in the Olympics because he's afraid of contracting the Zika virus. "I would like to play the Olympics, but the Zika virus, you know and all that crap," he <a href="http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/singh-bows-out-rio-olympics/" target="_blank">told GolfChannel.com</a>.
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Wall, who plays for the Washington Wizards, opted out of playing for Team USA, citing a knee injury.
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After a demanding season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook has decided to skip the Rio Olympics. He <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/russell-westbrook-withdraws-rio-olympics" target="_blank">released a statement</a>saying, "After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics. This was not an easy decision, as representing my country at the World Championships in 2010 and the Olympics in 2012 were career highlights for me. I look forward to future opportunities as a member of USA Basketball."
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