With the Tokyo Olympics now upon us, athletes from around the world are thrilled to represent their countries at this year’s games. Rory McIlroy is not one of those athletes.
The 32-year-old dual citizen of Ireland/England admitted that the Olympics are “not much to look forward to” and that he’s “not a very patriotic guy.” Never the less, he’ll take the course for Ireland alongside teammate Shane Lowry.
After his final round at this year’s Open Championship where he finished tied-48th, McIlroy explained that he’s not doing this for himself, but for the game of golf.
“I don’t know if there is much to look forward to. It’s obviously going to be a very different environment,” he said, per the Daily Express. “Look, I’m not a very patriotic guy. I’m doing it because I think it’s the right thing to do.”
McIlroy skipped out on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio amid an outbreak of the Zika virus. While this year poses similar issues with the COVID-19 pandemic, the four-time major champion believes his presence at this year’s games is important for golf’s future as an Olympic sport.
“I missed it last time and for golf to be an Olympic sport you need your best players there and I feel like I want to represent the game of golf more than anything else,” he said.
With it’s most recent fixture taking place back in 1904, golf made its return to the Summer Olympics after a 112 year hiatus in 2016. With McIlroy skipping out on the 2016 games, this year will mark his Olympic debut.
Round 1 of the men’s competition will tee off a week from today on July 28.