Lindsey Vonn on Zika and the 2016 Summer Olympics

The gold medalist has chosen not to go as spectator.

The Zika virus is a topic of concern with athletes heading to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in August.

ABC News spoke to Winter Olympics gold medalist Lindsey Vonn on Wednesday and got her take on the issue. "There’s historically been a lot of controversy around a number of Olympics, but this affects the athletes to a level we haven’t seen before," she said. "If I were competing, I’d probably still go down there."

But Vonn will not be competing until 2018, and thus "as a spectator, I've decided not to go down there ... but I’ll be watching on my couch ... enjoying it nonetheless."

The virus has been known to cause a birth defect in some babies born to infected mothers, according to a Brazilian Ministry of Health report earlier this month. Some worried athletes have dropped out of the games, including Australian golfer Marc Leishman and cyclist Tejay van Garderen. George Boville, an Olympic bronze medalist swimmer for Trinidad and Tobago, also told ABC News in February that the virus "is definitely a concern."

For her part, Vonn acknowledged how tough it is for the athletes to decide whether to attend the games.

"You work your whole life for" these games, she said. "It’s a really difficult decision for these athletes to make, go down there or not."

Vonn herself is promoting the games in a roundabout way, working with Team USA sponsor Reese's for its "Do Summer Like a Winter Olympian" campaign.

U.S. Olympic Committee officials told ABC News earlier this year that their focus is to educate and alert the country's athletes with advisories from the CDC.

"We’re taking steps to ensure that our delegation and those affiliated with Team USA are aware of the CDC’s recommendations regarding travel to Brazil," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky told ABC News in February.