Olympic Athlete Will Freeze His Sperm Before Rio Over Zika Concerns

Illustration for article titled Olympic Athlete Will Freeze His Sperm Before Rio Over Zika Concerns

Savannah Guthrie announced that she’s gonna take a hard pass on attending the Olympics in Brazil, but pregnant Today anchors aren’t the only ones giving their presence in Rio some forethought: British long jumper Greg Ruthorford has decided that he’ll go, alright, but not before he freezes a sample of his sperm.

Ruthorford won gold in London four years ago, and hell, he may do it again. But not only has his partner, Susie Verrill, decided that she’ll be supporting him from afar, she said the two concluded that Rutherford will also take extra precautions before he gets on that plane. As she wrote for Standard Issue:

“The Zika news has caused no end of concern if we’re totally honest. We’re not ones to worry unnecessarily, but after more than 100 medical experts stressed the Games should be moved to prevent the disease from spreading, this was a huge factor in us choosing to stay put.

We’ve also made the decision to have Greg’s sperm frozen. We’d love to have more children and with research in its infancy, I wouldn’t want to put myself in a situation which could have been prevented. Specialists still also don’t know the ins and outs of Zika, so even though it looks as though there’s no real issues should Milo get bitten, it’s just another thing we don’t want to chance.”


The CDC confirms that Zika can, in fact be passed on to a partner via sperm, hence the Australian team buying up all the Zika-resistant condoms. So far, athletes who have pulled out (sorry) include American cyclist Tejay van Garderen and golfer Vijay Singh, though most athletes seem intent on competing, virus be damned.

“I’m not taking Zika lightly,” Serena Williams told Glamour. “Especially being older, I definitely am going everywhere protected. I’m protecting myself.” (Williams, for the record, is 34. Shut up, Serena.)

Other athletes don’t give a fuck.

“It’s the Olympics,” gymnast Gabby Douglas told the AP. “Mosquitoes? Like, whatever. I’m going. This is my shot. I don’t care about no stupid bugs.”


Douglas, also for the record, is 20. Youth, man.

Image via Getty.

Night blogger at Jezebel

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


Well, hello...

Mr. Rutherford can give me his sperm. I’ll take care of it..