Hope Solo isn’t messing around for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
As the goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team, Solo’s tenacity and focus between the posts will be on display next month in Rio. But off the field, Solo is taking the medical threat surrounding the games themselves just as seriously, and rightly so. The Brazilian strain of the Zika virus poses a major threat to Olympic athletes, as it can result in future birth defects and pregnancy complications for adults of childbearing age.
Solo tweeted photos on Thursday of her Zika defense pack for her trip to Rio. With the items spread out on her bed, she showed us bottles on bottles of mosquito repellant, protective masks, hats and clothing, as well as a Leatherman multitool. (Why not?)
She now has two tasks in Brazil: win a gold medal and dodge Zika. Her bevy of items is impressive and, moreover, she’s picked out the right repellant spray to ward off Zika-carrying mosquitos. A few bottles of Sawyer insect repellant, the specific brand that Consumer Reports recommends as the best anti-Zika spray, are clearly pictured.
And if health experts are right, she’s really going to need every item she’s got. In May, 125 international health experts actually called for the Olympics to be relocated or postponed because of Zika. Many of the world’s top golfers have already decided to skip the games as a precaution.
It’s no surprise that Solo’s invested in a #DeptOfDefense array of anti-mosquito products. She’s been one of the most outspoken athletes about the Zika threat. In February, Solo told Sports Illustrated that she wouldn’t go to Rio and risk having an unhealthy child. She changed her mind in April. In May, she explained to CNBC that she’d take “every precaution necessary” and likely won’t be leaving her hotel outside of practice and games.