Desiree Scott kicks around thoughts of gold at Rio Olympics
Zika virus risk in back of minds of Team Canada women's soccer team, but not a major concern
Members of Team Canada's women's soccer team are raring to dig their cleats in at the coming Rio Olympics to show the world their skills on the field, Winnipegger Desiree Scott says.
Scott plays midfield for Team Canada and helped propel the squad to a bronze-medal win in the 2012 London Olympics.
The 28-year-old former University of Manitoba Bisons soccer star said she and her teammates are focused on "getting back on the podium."
Team Canada's first potential competitors at the games include Germany, Australia and Zimbabwe. "It's a tough pool," but Scott's thirst for Olympic gold is stronger than ever this time around, as she and her teammates still feel they have something to prove to the world.
"It's going to be a difficult road, but we want to prove that we weren't lucky in 2012 and that we can get on that podium again," Scott said. "I'm confident we can do that.... Once the tournament starts its go-go-go."
Still, concerns continue to swirl around the Zika virus, which has been a serious public health concern in Brazil for locals and international athletes over the passed few months.
The virus is transmitted through mosquito bites or sexual intercourse. It can cause headaches, muscle pain, fevers or conjunctivitis (red eyes) in adults and brain deformities in babies whose mothers become infected during pregnancy. There is no vaccine for the virus.
"It's definitely been a concern just in general for being a female athlete, and the effects it has on pregnancy and future planning," Scott said. "It's definitely in the back of a lot of our minds, I wouldn't say it's at the forefront."
The team has met with doctors who have outlined health concerns associated with Zika. Players plan to stay doused in mosquito repellent all tournament long to lower the risk of contracting the virus, Scott said.
Unwilling to give up 2nd shot
A small list of athletes have decided against attending the Olympics altogether, but that option never seriously crossed Scott's mind.
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"To be an Olympian and to go to your second Olympics is something that you're never going to give up," Scott said.
The team is in preparation mode right now and is headed to France in the coming days to take part in a couple pre-Olympic matches.