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Northern Irish golf champ, Rory McIlroy, has a tough choice to make. Will he play for the Irish or British team at the 2016 Rio Olympics Photo by: Google Images

British and Irish chiefs say Rory McIlroy’s Olympic choice is entirely up to him

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Northern Irish golf champ, Rory McIlroy, has a tough choice to make. Will he play for the Irish or British team at the 2016 Rio Olympics Photo by: Google Images

Officials from both Ireland and Britain have spoke out about Rory McIlroy’s awaited Olympic choice and explained the young golfer has total freedom in his decision.   

The Olympic Council of Ireland executive board member Pat Hickey reminded folks, "That great athlete Rory has clearly stated it is his choice and what people forget is that this is nothing new.” 

He went on to explain Rory’s choice is not the first of its kind, the Irish Independent reports.

"This is going on for 80 years..an athlete in Northern Ireland has always had the choice to go for the British team or for the Irish team."

When Hickey was asked about speculation that he had attempted to entice McIlroy with the honors of carry the Irish flag during the opening ceremony, he responded, "It is the young man's choice and there will be no politics in it."

Chairman of the British Olympic Association Sebastian Coe had the same to say about explaining it’s “very important” McIlroy has final say and affirmed, "It's entirely up to him."

He added, "I don't have a personal choice here..the athletes have the personal choice."

Hickey and Coe were speaking at the Mansion House in Dublin during a ceremony where Irish Olympians were receiving pins for their success.  Irish gold medalist Katie Taylor was present and spoke about McIlroy's predicament. 

She explained,  "He doesn't want to upset anyone and he has fans both in Great Britain and Ireland," and added it would be an “awful pity,” if the decision's difficulty would lead to him not competing at all.

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