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Serena Williams Says She Won't Play In The Olympics For 'A Lot Of Reasons' — 4 Theories About What She Means

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Serena Williams

On June 27th at the pre-Wimbledon press conference, tennis champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams made the surprise announcement that she will not be playing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Williams didn't get specific about why she is she won't be participating in the upcoming Olympics.

"There's a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision," Williams stated. "I don't feel like going into them today, but maybe another day."

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Fans are hoping Williams will share more about those reasons soon, but in the meantime, people across the internet have come up with their own theories.

Here are four fairly reasonable theories about why Serena Williams isn't going to the Tokyo Olympics.

1. She wouldn't be able to bring her 3-year-old daughter.

In 2017, Williams had her first child Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. ("Olympia" as a middle name is kinda perfect for a child of Williams, not gonna lie.)

The Tokyo Olympics currently has an international ban on spectators, making competing athletes' lives a little harder if they have family they'd like to bring with them.

While the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee has said they will make some exceptions on a case-by-case basis, a spokeperson for the committee said, "Following discussions with the IOC, it has basically been decided to give up on allowing athletes’ family members and other companions to accompany them to the Games."

Asked about the ban during an interview with Sky Sports, Williams said, "That's a really good question. I haven't spent 24 hours without her, so that kind of answers the question itself. We're best friends.

So that could certainly be a possible reason for her absence.

2. There is still a pandemic happening.

Despite the fact that much of the world is starting to open up again, COVID-19 is still a concern for many.

The pandemic obviously put our entire world out of commission for over a year, and some countries are opening back up more slowly.

Japan is concerned that hosting the Olympics will lead to a rise in cases.

According to Reuters, 10.3% of Japan is fully vaccinated against Covid, compared to the United States's 46.6% vaccination rate.

Athletes like Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have said they decided to skip the Olympics for personal reasons, though Covid is a suspected contender within their thinking.

This could be another understandable reason to skip the competition since we're just seeming to be out of the woods.

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3. Williams may be prioritizing Grand Slams.

Williams has always focused intensely on winning Grand Slams, now with 23 singles under her belt.

In the tennis world, Grand Slams, "when a competitive tennis player wins all four major tennis tournaments," is considered the most prestigious possible accomplishment.

The Olympics occur every four years, whereas slams can be won annually.

And Williams is only one Grand Slam away from breaking the world record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, currently held by Margaret Court.

4. Some think Williams may fear she's already reached her peak.

Williams is 39 years old, bringing her far above the average retirement age for the sport, which is 27, despite how clearly talented she is.

Unfortunately, sports value younger players, and once you've past a certain point, even if it may mean you are still young in all other realms, you're effectively forced to retire.

With four gold medals, 23 Grand Slams singles titles, three French Opens, six US Opens, and even more awards and accolades under her belt — Williams has nothing left to prove.

She's kind of done it all...

Williams has trickled down to number eight in the world, which is obviously still impressive, but perhaps an indication she is now past her prime.

Not to mention she has already won $94 million throughout her career. Does she really need more?

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Kat Mackay is a writer who covers entertainment and good news. Follow her on Instagram for more.