Donegal rower, Sinead Jennings, is monitoring the Zika viral threat from Brazil but is likely to go to Rio De Janeiro for this Summer’s Olympic Games.
The Letterkenny woman, a doctor by profession, told the Irish Times this week that she felt the risk of picking up the virus was low but that she was monitoring the situation.
Jennings and her rowing partner, Clare Lambe, have qualified for the lightweight double sculls at this Summer’s Olympics in Rio.
She was commenting on the issue after at least one sportswoman said that she was not going to the Games and a leading athletics coach said that she was considering whether or not she would send her athlete to Rio.
US soccer goalkeeper, Hope Solo, said that she would not go the games in the Brazilian capital.
And Toni Minichiello, the coach of the British gold heptathlon gold medalist from London 2012, Jessica Ennis Hill, has stated that she would consider whether or not to send her athlete to Rio due the threat from the Rika virus.
“It is early days and maybe if more information emerges later. From the information coming out now I’ve no concerns. Obviously pregnant women are most affected by it,” Jennings told the Times.
“From both a doctor and athlete’s point of view, I feel that the risk is low unless pregnant and a very high risk if pregnant. Possibly spectators or supporters and support staff for the teams who are pregnant should consider whether to go,” she added. .
“But we’d be going now, although, I’ll definitely monitor it over the coming months and get advice from the Institute of Sport and the Olympic Council. At the moment, there is no information to say that we should not go.”
The Olympic Council of Ireland has recommended that individuals adopt the latest Government advice.
However, the United States Olympic Committee has told athletes and staff concerned about their health, that they should consider not going to the Games.
Jennings and Lambe are currently in a training camp in Spain in preparation for this summer’s Games in Rio.
This summer’s Games in Rio are a first Olympics for the Letterkenny woman, who has been striving for some 16 years to qualify. The mother of three has taken a career break as a doctor to fulfill her childhood dream. The mother of three daughters Sinead was the winner of a World Singles Scull gold medal in 2001.