Several athletes have already withdrawn from the Games citing
concerns over Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that has been shown
to attack fetal brain cells and cause microcephaly, a birth
defect marked by small head size and underdeveloped brains.
Kim, who won gold in the women's 25 meter pistol event at the
2012 London Olympics, said her mind had been put at ease after
competing in Rio at the World Cup in April.
"At first I didn't think I would be so scared of them, but then
I found myself applying mosquito repellent all over my body,"
the 23-year-old told the Yonhap News Agency, adding that she had
not been bitten once during her stay in Brazil.
"I guess my blood doesn't taste so good."
U.S. cyclist Tejay van Garderen as well as golfers Charl
Schwartzel of South Africa and Fiji's Vijay Singh have announced
that they will skip the 2016 Games because of the Zika threat,
but Kim is fully focused on defending her title.
"My goal is to win the gold medal again," she added. "I haven't
been doing so well, and I know people are worried about it. But
I am just trying to put myself through many different situations
before the Olympics."
The Rio Olympics take place from Aug. 5-21.
(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru)
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