U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo says Zika-related jeers from Brazilian fans don’t bother her.
Solo gave a wide-ranging interview with SI’s Grant Wahl on Thursday, following Team USA’s Wednesday win at the Rio Olympics. During the match, she was booed when touching the ball, with fans chanting “Zika” at her in reference to the insect-borne virus that has been a major health topic in the build-up to the games. Those chants came in response to a photo she posted on Instagram of herself wearing a mosquito net.
Solo, 35, had been vocal about her concerns — the virus affects newborn babies and is especially pertinent for women who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant — but decided to play in the Olympics.
“I did know they were booing, but it doesn’t affect me,” Solo said. “I came here to do one thing, and that’s to help our team win, our country win. And I’m very focused in doing that. Is it a bummer? I wish people would understand that I did my due diligence before coming to Brazil. It was a personal decision I had to make alongside my husband. And it’s not something I just spoke about without getting educated on. It was something very serious to me because I do want to start a family.
“The CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and even the World Health Organization came out and said any pregnant women or if you intend to get pregnant anytime soon, we do not advise traveling to Brazil. So it’s not like I just made this up. I listened to the CDC. I listened to the World Health Organization. I spoke to experts.”
Listen to the full interview below.
The United States next plays France on Saturday.