The Olympic Games provide us with the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty of competition while celebrating the love for our country. Just as it is with pro sports, not everyone has what it takes to reach this particular level. And as we learned from speaking with Olympian Dara Torres, the opportunity to showcase one’s skill at this event is something that hopefuls should not take for granted. Participating in the 2016 Summer Games at Rio is a big deal. Just ask those who won’t be able to do so.
Every four years we get to witness some of the best athletes on the planet come together in the ultimate global competition. This time around, the Games are heading to Brazil. Unfortunately, some of the most popular athletes in the world will not be along for the ride. For us, the absence of these six individuals will be felt the most.
1. Chris Paul
After winning gold medals with Team USA in 2008 and 2012, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul decided to withdraw his name from consideration for the Rio Games. While speaking with SI.com’s Lee Jenkins about this difficult choice, Paul had this to say: “I feel my body telling me that I could use the time.” Considering he fractured a bone in his hand during these 2016 playoffs, we think Paul has a point. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Team USA is super deep at the point guard position.
It clearly shows that Paul is grateful for his past Olympic experience. “What we do is such a small thing compared to what the people do who protect our freedom,” he told SI.com. “But when I put on that USA jersey it always gave me goose bumps because you realized you were part of something so much bigger than yourself.”