American ace tennis player Serena Williams revealed on June 27, Sunday that she will not be participating in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. She however did not give the reasons behind this decision.
The 39-year old player said this during her pre-Wimbledon video conference with reporters. Williams said, “I’m actually not on the Olympic list, so… Not that I’m aware of. If so, then I shouldn’t be on it”. She added, “There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision. I don’t really want to – I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry”.
Serena Williams says she will not play at the Tokyo Olympics
Serena Williams has been a four-time gold medalist at past Olympics. In the 2012 London Olympics, she won 2 gold medals in both singles and doubles category; later in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics, she won a gold in doubles. The star player won all her gold medals in the doubles category by teaming up with her old sister, Venus.
Other top tennis players who have decided to skip the upcoming Olympic games include Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are other ace players who have not yet made up their mind whether to participate in the Olympics next month.
US Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said in an email to the Associated Press: “Ultimately, the decision to participate in the Games is an individual one. We recognize and respect the personal decisions made by our top athletes regarding participation in the Tokyo Games.”
In regard to the Covid times, he further added, “We recognize the fact that in this unique time, some athletes may choose not to participate for personal reasons”.
The Tokyo Olympics are all set to kickstart on July 23. Due to Covid worry, international spectators won’t be allowed in venues to witness the games. However, it is not yet clear if the athletes will be allowed to bring their little ones with them.
International restrictions might be one of the reasons for Serena Williams not participating in the Olympics. Williams has a 3-year old daughter (born in 2017) to whom she is very much attached.
The Olympics have already been delayed due to the Covid pandemic and even now there are concerns related to the virus infections. Nevertheless, it has been decided by the Japanese authorities that the Olympics games would be held with certain restrictions like allowing only 10,000 local fans. Even public screening events have been barred in Tokyo city.