Sports of The Times: As Olympics Near and Zika Spreads, No Talk of a Plan B


Municipal workers sprayed insecticide around Rio de Janeiro in January, part of the effort to prevent the spread of the Zika virus.

Pilar Olivares/Reuters

How confident is Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee, that the Zika virus will not ruin the Rio Olympics or render them unsafe for athletes, workers and spectators?

Just last week, even though the number of people reported to have the virus in Brazil has topped 1.5 million and the World Health Organization has declared Zika a global health crisis, Blackmun bought tickets for his family: three children, who are in their 20s, and his wife.

“The risk is real, but I don’t think that risk is high enough for me to cause me to change my travel plans,” he told me in a phone call Thursday. “I’m telling you right here and right now, I think our mission is to support our athletes as they compete in the Olympics. As long as we have athletes who want to go, we will…

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