Serena Williams Is Officially Not Competing in the Tokyo Olympics
Clive Brunskill, Getty Images
It's a sad day for Serena Williams stans, Olympic fans, and tennis diehards: Serena Williams has decided not to compete in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. "I'm actually not on the Olympic list, not that I'm aware of," the three-time Olympian told journalists at the Wimbledon tournament on Sunday, June 27th. "If so, then I shouldn't be on it."
Had Williams gone on to compete, this would have been her fourth Olympics where she'd be vying for her fifth medal. The tennis pro has won doubles three times alongside sister Venus Williams in 2000, 2008, and 2012. It was also at the 2012 London Olympics that Williams took home the gold in women's singles.
Williams' decision not to travel to Tokyo is not a light one. She shared, "There's a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision," but she currently doesn't "feel like going into" it.
"In the past [the Olympics] has been a wonderful place for me. I really haven't thought about it, so I'm going to keep not thinking about it," she concluded the interview.
As of now, the tennis pro has not publicly addressed the reasoning behind her Olympics absence, but Williams has always been very transparent with both her fans and the media, so we're sure an in-depth explanation or conversation will come in due time. However, some are saying that the current travel restrictions, which are preventing international families (i.e. children) from traveling with athletes, could have been the deal breaker for Williams, who has a 3-year-old daughter.
When a reporter asked Williams back in May how this would affect her fourth Olympic appearance she said, "I haven't spent 24 hours without her, so that kind of answers the question itself. We're best friends."
U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier has since spoken out: "Ultimately, the decision to participate in the Games is an individual one, and as we emerge from the pandemic, we recognize and respect the personal decisions made by our top athletes regarding participation in the Tokyo Games," he said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. "Although we fully support the IOC and the [International Tennis Federation], and have encouraged our athletes to participate, we recognize the fact that in this unique time, some athletes may choose not to participate for personal reasons."
While we're bummed we won't be watching Serena compete this summer, we fully support her and her decision. Plus, we absolutely adore Olympia, so anything for her-but just think of all the cute mother-daughter matching Olympics outfits we could have gotten!!