World number four golfer Rory McIlroy has dramatically pulled out of the Olympics this summer due to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.
Taking place in Rio de Janiero in August, the Holywood native was previously in two minds about whether he would represent the Republic of Ireland or Great Britain at the games – before ultimately siding with the Republic.
Speaking about withdrawing from the games in a statement, the Irish Open champ said he ‘trusts the Irish people will understand his decision’.
“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero,” he wrote in a statement.
He’s out: Rory confirmed he won’t be partaking in the Olympic Games | VIPIRELAND.COM
“After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realize that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else.
“Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take,” he added.
“I trust the Irish people will understand my decision.
No more: Rory said he trusts the Irish people will understand his decision | VIPIRELAND.COM
“The unwavering support I receive every time I compete in a golf tournament at home or abroad means the world to me,” he explained.
“I will continue to endeavor to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it.”