‘Ottawa’ Ottawa Tennis Player Gabriela Dabrowski Caught in Olympic Limbo, Waiting for Eugenie Bouchard’s Decision
Ottawa tennis player Gabriela Dabrowski is anxious to represent Canada at the Rio Olympics, fully prepared to deal with the Zika virus or whatever other health and safety concerns may occur.
But as Eugenie Bouchard’s potential doubles partner, Dabrowski is in limbo, awaiting Bouchard’s decision on whether to stay or go. A decision must be made next week.
On Tuesday, Bouchard said, “I’m kind of a last-minute person, I really don’t know what to do at this point,” citing the Zika virus as a cause for concern.
Dabrowski, meanwhile, is caught in the middle, wondering if her own Olympic dreams will end with Bouchard’s decision.
“I haven’t spoken to her personally, so I don’t know,” Dabrowski said in a telephone interview before playing in a doubles match Wednesday night at the Citi Open in Washington. “I have no idea what’s really going on. I’ve heard from other people that she’s hesitating to go.”
Dabrowski, 24, has focussed on her doubles career, seeing that as a quicker ticket to the Olympics. She’s currently ranked 44th in doubles.
She’s personally not worried about Zika.
“I really hope (her hesitation) isn’t because of Zika,” said Dabrowski. “I’ve done a lot of research. I have friends in Rio. They say the media is overblowing the issue out of proportion.
“Unless you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant in the next few months, it’s not an issue.”
Dabrowski says she might be more concerned if she was preparing for an event at or near water, such as kayaking or canoeing.
“I value my health a lot, but at the same time, I recognize the Zika issue is not a big deal,” she said.
“There are simple precautions to take. You don’t spend time in damp areas. You can put on mosquito repellant, you can sleep with mosquito netting. Your odds are higher to be in a car accident than getting Zika.”
Canadian men’s tennis star Milos Raonic, who lost to Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final earlier this month, has pulled out of Rio.
So, too, have PGA stars Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith. All of them have mentioned Zika in their rationale for not going to Brazil.
Dabrowski, however, doesn’t want to miss out.
“For some athletes, it’s the pinnacle of their sport,” she said. “You’re not being paid. It’s purely from the heart, totally from the heart. You might get funding if you place or get a medal, but it’s about being part of a united group of athletes from a wonderful country that I’ve been grateful to have been in.”