So, The Rio Olympics have finished and now the golfing community can get back on schedule for the remaining season of events. We can also look at the number of athletes that were infected by the Zika Virus. You know, the deadly virus that forced the world’s best golfers to stay home and not attend the party in Rio.
Zero is the number you are looking for. There were no reported cases of Zika in any athlete anywhere during and now after the Olympic games. So how do the golfers who stayed home feel now about their decisions?
All of us who watched the games were amazed at how good they were. The best of the best competing for gold brought out the competitive juices in as all. Having Marcus Fraser doing well made Australian golfers watch with pride until the end, but how would Jason Day or Marc Leishman be feeling now? Now that it has been proved that Zika was no threat to athletes.
They both missed out on the party. They both missed out on becoming Olympians. They both did not play for their country when asked and robbed the Australian golfing public of seeing the best we had go for gold because of what?
I cannot applaud Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend, Minjee Lee & Su Oh enough for going over there and saying all along what a great honour it was to represent their country at the highest level of sport. Their patriotism rose above their fear. Fear, that in the end was misplaced. Ian Baker Finch too was great in his dealings with the Australian Golf team. We could all feel his pain through the top players pulling out, but he sucked it up and never showed disappointment towards the team he got. In the end, the team performed very well and I’m sure had a ball in Rio. Congratulations to you all.
Athletes were told all along that the threat of Zika was small. So small that the Olympics were being held when the mosquito population was its smallest. The cooler months in Rio were never going to play havoc with Zika. The locals all said it was no issue for them and would not be an issue for anybody who attended the games. Why then was the fear so rampant that it stopped so many golfers from going? It was mainly golfers that pulled out. No other sport suffered from withdrawals more than golf. Is it that the current modern golfer is soft? Personally, I believe that the current modern golfer just lacks respect for the game itself. It used to be “for the love of the game”, but I guess those days are gone.
It will be interesting to see what happens in Tokyo 2020 for the next instalment of Olympic golf.