Jamaican gold medal Olympian Usain Bolt isn’t concerned about the health risks that come with participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics, specifically the Zika virus.
“Hopefully, by the time I get there, they’ll have it under control,” Bolt told NBC’s Peter Alexander. “I’m sure they’ll put things in place to sort it out. So I’m not really stressed right now.”
When questioned why he isn’t worried, Bolt answered with a joke.
“Because I’m fast,” said Bolt, the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in both the 100 and 200 meters. “They can’t catch me.”
It pays to be fast, apparently.
The Zika virus is the biggest health issue heading into Rio, unless you plan on swimming or entering the water. Then you have a lot more problems. Zika is spread by a certain type of mosquitoes. It’s also sexually transmitted. While the virus basically only causes a fever, it’s said to cause birth defects in babies if the mother is a carrier. The Americas outbreak of the virus began in Brazil.
Only expecting mothers are advised to avoid traveling at this point.
Because nobody is a fan of birth defects in babies, some are upset with the joke.
Usain Bolt’s comments on Zika on NBC’s Today Show hard to believe. Clearly meant as joke – but what a stupid, irresponsible thing to say.
— Harry Reekie (@HarryCNN) May 18, 2016
Bolt will compete in both the 100-meter and 200-meter races. It’s his third straight Olympics. He won gold at Beijing 2010 and London 2012.