Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy says he “resents” the Olympics for making him choose between Ireland and Great Britain in regards to who he would represent in Rio.
The four-time major champion ended up deciding to play for Ireland, before later deciding to pull out of the Games because of the Zika Virus.
"All of a sudden it put me in a position where I had to question who I am? Who am I? Where am I from? Where do my loyalties lie? Who am I going to play for? Who do I not want to piss off the most,” the four-time major champion said.
“I started to resent it and I do. I resent the Olympic Games because of the position it put me in, that's my feelings towards it, and whether that's right or wrong, it's how I feel."
McIlroy also revealed a text exchange with Justin Rose who won gold in Rio, where golf made its return to the Olympics after a 112-year hiatus.
Following a congratulatory message from McIlroy, Rose replied, “"All the boys here want to know do you feel like you missed out?"
McIlroy explained: "I said, 'Justin, if I had been on the podium (listening) to the Irish national anthem as that flag went up, or the British national anthem as that flag went up, I would have felt uncomfortable either way. I don't know the words to either of them. I don't feel a connection to either flag. I don't want it to be about flags. I've tried to stay away from that."
"Not everyone is (driven by) nationalism and patriotism and that's never been me, because I felt like I grew up in a place where I wasn't allowed to be," McIlroy said. "It was suppressed. I never wanted it to get political or about where I'm from, but that's what it turned into. And it just got to the point where it wasn't worth the hassle."