Chicago Bulls center and two-time Olympic silver medalist Pau Gasol announced that he will decide on June 30 whether he will play for Team Spain in the 2016 Olympic Game in August at Rio Janeiro, Brazil.
Pau Gasol first expressed his concern over the Zika Virus crisis and warned the other athletes that they should consider first their health and the health of their families. In the middle of this, Gasol stated that he cannot decide whether he will play in the Rio Olympics or not.
“I can’t confirm or deny that I will be at the Games” but added that he hoped to be able to make a firm decision “before Spain’s Olympic team is selected”.
“Every day something new comes out, advances, a more in-depth analysis. A lot of sportsmen are in their most fertile stage of their lives and so it’s something which requires a great deal of thought. There are no guarantees. It’s not something which should be taken lightly – in Brazil a million and a half have been affected [by Zika],” Gasol said via AS.
If ever he will be playing in the Rio Olympics, Pau Gasol said that he will consider freezing his sperm as a precautionary measure. Great Britain long jumper Greg Rutherford said the same thing since the Zika Virus can cause microcephaly in babies once the mother is infected.
According to WebMD, Zika virus first appeared in Brazil in May wherein more than 1,300 were born with Zika-caused microcephaly. Brazil and several other nations have advised women to postpone pregnancy.
If Pau Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon will all play in Team Spain, they will surely give a good fight with Team USA. Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, John Wall, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Anthony Davis were out for Team USA due to injury. James Harden and Russell Westbrook also chose to opt out and decided to rest as preparation for 2016-17 NBA season.
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