In a press conference held in Madrid on Wednesday Spanish star Mireia Belmonte spoke about several issues including the Zika virus.
Belmonte told the media that she is worried about the threat the virus presents, “There is still a long way to go until the Games and things can change, but the important thing is to know that we are going to be safe and that our health is not being to be put at risk,” said Belmonte.
She said that she needs to “be sure that there is no risk of contagion” before travelling to Rio for the Games.
Belmonte is not the only high profile athlete to have expressed their concern when it comes to attending the games. American Hope Solo, who is the goaltender for the national soccer team, told Sport Illustrated, “If I had to make the choice today, I wouldn’t go.”
On a more positive note Belmonte went to tell the media that she feels strong and is well on her way to being at 100% health after suffering a shoulder injury that kept her from competing at the World Championships in Kazan. In fact she will attempt to qualify for the games in the 10 km open water event in addition to the pool events.
She was also asked about the possibility of carrying the Spanish flag at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, “It would be very special,” said Belmonte.
Although Belmonte is one of the athletes who will be considered Alejandro Blanco, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, has already stated publicly that he feels that Rafael Nadal should be the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony in Rio.