Greg Rutherford

The Zika virus continues to dominate coverage leading up to this summer's Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Amid concerns over the risks athletes face should they attend the Games and contract the virus, everyone is being forced to weigh the pros and cons.

In addition to the weeks-long illness and aftermath the virus can cause, its most alarming risk to the unborn children of Olympic athletes. Anyone who contracts the virus could be at risk of having children with developmental problems and other birth defects, even if those children are conceived after the disease has run its course.

That's led some female athletes to question whether they want to participate in Rio this summer, and whether they want to take additional precautions. But men can also pass on the birth defects to children, which is why British Olympian Greg Rutherford has decided to freeze his sperm ahead of this summer's competition.

According to the BBC, Rutherford's decision to freeze his sperm was announced by his partner, Susie Verrill.

"We've made the decision to have Greg's sperm frozen. It's just another thing we don't want to chance," Verrill wrote online.

Verrill also said she would not be attending the Olympic Games in person, due to the health risks associated with Zika.

"We're not ones to worry unnecessarily, but after more than 100 medical experts stressed the Games should be moved to prevent the disease from spreading, this was a huge factor in us choosing to stay put," Verrill says.

"We'd love to have more children and, with research in its infancy, I wouldn't want to put myself in a situation which could have been prevented."

The World Health Organization has said it will examine the risks of holding the Olympics in Rio, considering the presence of the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Earlier, 100 scientists had made a collective plea to move or postpone the Games, due to the health risks faced by athletes and anyone else attending the Games.

That request was denied, but inquiries into the exact risks are ongoing. Meanwhile, don't be surprised if other athletes take a similar approach to protecting themselves -- and their children -- from any fallout that might come from the Summer Olympics.

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