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Long Jump Gold Medalist Greg Rutherford Freezing Sperm Ahead of Zika Olympics

The reigning Olympic long jump champion goes to Brazil. But he plans on leaving his sperm behind in the United Kingdom.

Greg Rutherford, whose jump of 27 feet, three inches (8.31 meters) in London gave him the gold medal in 2012, defends his title in Rio despite dire warnings about the Zika virus. The ginger jumper’s girlfriend and baby mama writes that she plans on staying in the UK—with the mosquito-borne virus acting as one of several deterrents to transatlantic travel.

“The Zika news has caused no end of concern if we’re totally honest,” Susie Verrill writes at Standard Issue Magazine. “We’re not ones to worry unnecessarily, but after more than 100 medical experts stressed the Games should be moved to prevent the disease from spreading, this was a huge factor in us choosing to stay put.”

She continues, “We’ve also made the decision to have Greg’s sperm frozen. We’d love to have more children and with research in its infancy, I wouldn’t want to put myself in a situation which could have been prevented. Specialists still also don’t know the ins and outs of Zika, so even though it looks as though there’s no real issues should [son] Milo get bitten, it’s just another thing we don’t want to chance.”

Greg Rutherford’s swimmers join American bicyclist Tejay van Garderen and Fijian golfer Vijay Singh as athletes citing Zika in deciding to stay far away from Brazil this summer.

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