Fiona Doyle willing to risk contracting Zika virus to compete at Olympics

The Irish swimmer says that despite the concern regarding the mosquito-borne virus, she will not be put off competing at this year's Olympic Games in Rio

Fiona Doyle willing to risk contracting Zika virus to compete at Olympics

Image: ©INPHO/Giorgio Perottino

Swimmer Fiona Doyle says that she'll explore different avenues to have children should she contract the Zika virus at this summer's Olympic Games.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked with deformities in newborn babies, causing them to be born with abnormally small heads, known as microcephaly.

"I would take the risk," she told the Irish Independent, "As much as I want children, this is something that I've wanted for years and if it means taking that risk, then I'll take that risk and hopefully I'll be fine.

Doyle says she'll consider "other options" to have child, citing the reason that she may never have another chance to compete in the Olympics.

"This is something I've been trying to do since I was 12," she said.

"When I didn't qualify in 2012 I was devastated. It was like somebody had died. So it's not as easy as just deciding 'I'm not going to go'. I'm not Rory McIlroy. I can't decide in four years' time that I'm going to go again.

"It doesn't work that way for swimming. I'm at the peak at the moment.

"I'm at the right age for swimming, so this is my only chance and although it's kind of nerve-wracking that there's a chance I might catch it, at the same time, this is my only opportunity."

Via the Irish Independent