Saturday, September 18, 2021

Serena Williams Confirms She Will Not Play At Tokyo Olympics

Serena Williams
Serena Williams / Getty

*Serena Williams said Sunday she won’t compete at the Summer Olympics in Japan.

Williams, who has bagged four gold medals in tennis, declined to offer a specific reason for her decision to not travel to Tokyo, as reported by Deadline

Speaking at her pre-Wimbledon press conference, Williams said: “I’m actually not on the Olympic list – not that I’m aware of. If so, then I shouldn’t be on it.”

When pressed as to why Williams would only say: “There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision. I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry.”

U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Sunday: “Ultimately, the decision to participate in the Games is an individual one, and as we emerge from the pandemic, we recognize and respect the personal decisions made by our top athletes regarding participation in the Tokyo Games. Although we fully support the IOC and the (International Tennis Federation), and have encouraged our athletes to participate, we recognize the fact that in this unique time, some athletes may choose not to participate for personal reasons.”

READ MORE: Athletes Banned from Kneeling, Wearing Black Lives Matter Apparel at Tokyo Olympics

Williams joins other top tennis players such as Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem who also have said they’ll skip the Olympics in Japa, opening  July 23.

Roger Federer said Saturday he hasn’t decided whether to participate in the Tokyo Games.

Williams was asked what she thinks it will be like to sit out these Summer Games… “I have not thought about it. In the past, it’s been a wonderful place for me. I really haven’t thought about it, so I’m going to keep not thinking about it,” she replied.

Some reactions to her decision to skip the summer Olympics have raged from “F*ck the Olympics. Who is watching that crap show where people from all over the world will meet, exchange viruses & carry them back home?” wrote one commenter under Deadline’s report. Another added “Let someone else try and win a gold medal. She has 4 already. She’s brilliant, perhaps the greatest ever…but uh, greedy much?”

A third wrote, “Informed speculation about Williams’ absence would be about drug testing for PEDs and other substances. Possibly these Olympics are going to be more rigorous, in light of Covid screenings. And of course, performance doping is a subject that SW never wants to have.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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