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US Soccer Star Heckled With ‘Zika’ Chants at Olympics

U.S. women’s soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo was booed and heckled with chants of “Zika, Zika,” during the team’s debut match against New Zealand at the Rio Olympics Wednesday.

Solo, 35, was criticized after tweeting photos last month of her preparations for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, an area that has been heavily impacted by the Zika virus.

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Solo, a three-time Olympic medalist, shared a photo of a bed covered in mosquito repellent and a photo of herself holding a bottle of insect repellent and wearing a hat with a net. She used the hashtag #zikaproof alongside both photos.

If anyone in the village forgets to pack repellent, come and see me…#DeptOfDefense #zikaproof pic.twitter.com/x8RdUV6M7c

— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) July 22, 2016

Not sharing this!!! Get your own! #zikaproof #RoadToRio pic.twitter.com/y3d8hnuEjk

— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) July 22, 2016

On Wednesday, fans at the 60,000-capacity Mineirao Stadium booed Solo nearly every time she touched the ball. The crowd added "Zika, Zika," after their chants of "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole."

The goalkeeper had expressed reservations earlier this year about even participating in the Rio Olympics, which have been beset by concerns about crime, water safety and poor living conditions for athletes and members of the press, in addition to Zika.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, Solo responded to criticisms of her tweets by saying she “would never want to offend the host country,” according to The Associated Press.

Solo also said she had spoken with “three different infectious disease doctors and specialists” before making the decision to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games.

The USWNT went on to defeat New Zealand 2 to 0. Solo said after the game she was not bothered by the fans’ heckling.

"I'm glad the fans had fun," Solo said, according to The Associated Press. "And if they had fun at my expense, more power to them."


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