ZikV? No worries, says Bolt

June 04, 2016
Gladstone Taylor / Photographer Seven-year-old Ajani Brown (right) shares a selfie moment with Usain Bolt during the launch of the 'Bring the Beat' campaign at the Terra Nova Hotel on Tuesday.
@Normal:Olympic and World Championship double sprint champion, Usain Bolt (centre, red shirt), does his signature pose during the launch of Digicel's 'Bring the Beat' campaign with children from Jamaica and a host of Caribbean countries, at the Terra Nova All Suites Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday.

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt says he has no fears of travelling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the defence of his third consecutive Olympic sprint titles, while backing the South American hosts to overcome challenges with the mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZikV).

The outbreak began in Brazil a year ago. Now more than 60 countries and territories have confirmed cases.

A number of organisations and athletes have been calling for the Games to be moved.

Between February and April, Brazil's health ministry registered 91,387 likely cases of ZikV.

The number of babies born with ZikV-linked defects stood at 4,908 in April.

Bolt said it would not be possible to cancel or postpone an event as big as the Olympics.

"I am just hoping that by the time we get there, the officials and everybody will have everything under control. I can't stress about that. I have to focus on getting myself ready for the Olympics, so we will see what happens when it gets closer. All I can do is just prepare myself," the 29-year-old told journalists.

He was speaking at the Digicel 'Bring The Beat' campaign launch for the Rio Olympics at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday.

"I can't worry, no. I think when it gets closer, if it (ZikV) is not contained or there is nothing put in place to make it better, then I will probably have a little worry, but right now I am confident in the fact that it will be OK because it's the Olympics. It must be done," Bolt added.

The 29-year-old said he has competed in Rio a few times but is looking forward to winning in the stadium.

"I am actually looking forward to competing in a stadium for the first time. It should be exciting. It's the Olympics. It's the biggest stage, and I am looking forward to getting it done," stressed the Jamaican.

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