Australian golfer Marc Leishman will not be participating in the upcoming Rio Olympic Games because of his wife’s health.
Leishman’s withdrew from last year’s Masters after his wife Audrey almost lost her life due to toxic shock syndrome. Still now, a year later she continues her slow recovery.
“It is with deep regret that I have informed Golf Australia that I will be unable to represent my country in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil,” Leishman said in a statement. “Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome. Since then Audrey has been prone to infection and is far removed from 100 per cent recovery of her immune system.
“We have consulted with Audrey’s physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.”
“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy,” Leishman said. “The Masters and the Olympics are the two biggest tournaments to which a golfer can be invited; however, my family will always come before golf.
“Finally, I hope that my fellow countrymen understand why I have made this decision. I hope none of them are ever in a position to have to do the same. My best to the Australian golf team in Rio De Janeiro and the entire Australian Olympic team in the upcoming Olympic Games. I will be cheering you on.”