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article imageZika fears prompt U.S. swimming team to change training camp

By Karen Graham     May 22, 2016 in Sports
While there are no plans to miss the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, the U.S. swimming team is taking the threat posed by the Zika virus seriously. They have decided to move their training camp from Puerto Rico.
On May 20, according to the Associated Press, Frank Busch, the U.S. national team director, sent a letter to all national team athletes and coaches informing them of the change of the training camp from Puerto Rico to Atlanta, Georgia.
In the letter, obtained by the AP, Busch wrote:"As part of our preparations for the Olympic Games this summer, we have been closely monitoring the current situation with the Zika virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts in the field of science and medicine, our athletes would be highly exposed to the Zika virus in Puerto Rico."
The swimming team will still conduct a training session in San Antonio, Texas from July 11 to July 21. After that, they were planning on heading to Puerto Rico for the next training session. Now, the training camp will be held at the Georgia Tech aquatics center, the same site where the 1996 Summer Olympics was held.
"I think it's the prudent thing to do," said Bob Bowman, who coaches 18-time gold medalist Michael Phelps. Bowman said he thinks it will actually be easier to control the Zika virus while the swimming team is in Rio de Janeiro, despite the fact that out of 90,000 cases of the Zika virus in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro has 35,000 of them.
"Honestly, we can control it better in Rio," he said. "They're taking every precaution they can. We're talking about swimming in an indoor venue in the wintertime. Plus, we have other measures we can take. We just feel like that's a much more controlled environment."
The Los Angeles Times points out that the Zika virus has also spread to Puerto Rico, infecting hundreds of people. Tom Skinner, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says the agency is studying models to determine how much and how fast the Zika virus will spread after the Olympic Games when people return to their home countries.
More about aika virus, Puerto rico, us swimming team, atlanta georgia venue, 2016 summer olympics
 
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