Tennis superstar Serena Williams had plenty of opportunity to experience the Olympics, already the proud owner of four gold medals, so it’s not too tough to understand her decision to skip the upcoming Games in Tokyo.
She didn’t give a specific reason, but there are a number of drawbacks – all of which likely combined to lead Williams to the decision.
“There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision,” Williams, 39, told reporters on Sunday at Wimbledon. “I don’t really want to — I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry.
“I have not thought about it. In the past (the Olympics) has been a wonderful place for me. I really haven’t thought about it, so I’m going to keep not thinking about it.”
The ongoing troubles with Tokyo’s COVID-19 infections include travel restrictions that won’t allow Williams’ 3-year-old daughter to come along – despite the fact that her daughter’s name is Olympia.
Williams, who first appeared in Olympic competition in 2000 at Sydney, is certainly not first big name to decline the chance to play in Tokyo.
Iconic star Rafael Nadal and top-flight challenger Dominic Thiem won’t compete, and marquee names Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have not yet committed.
Japanese Emperor Naruto last week expressed his doubts about having thousands of athletes and spectators coming to Tokyo, fearing further coronavirus spread.
“The emperor is extremely worried about the current status of coronavirus infections,” Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Yasuhiko Nishimura said Thursday during a regularly-scheduled news conference.
“Given the public’s worries, he appears to me to be concerned about whether the Olympics and Paralympics event, for which he is honorary patron, would cause infections to spread.”
The Tokyo Games begin July 23; the Paralympics a month later.