Looking past his Zika fears, Pau Gasol will play for Spain at the Rio Olympics

Eurobasket 2015 MVP Pau Gasol will play for the Spanish national team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he confirmed in his Marca newspaper column.

“I’m going to the Olympic Games,” was Gasol’s headline despite his fears over the Zika virus, which has threatened Brazil in the build up to Rio 2016.

 

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Gasol won silver at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and again in London in 2012, both times to Team USA, who will be without NBA Finals MVP LeBron James and league MVP Stephen Curry this summer.

The NBA veteran returned to the international fold after a year away in 2013 at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain as they were expected to compete with a supposedly weaker USA team than in previous years. However, Gasol and the Spanish could only reach the last eight, falling to France and watching the United States breeze to the gold medal.

Rio 2016 may present Gasol with a shot at the gold medal again, but he will no doubt face competition from Team USA, who will be gunning for a three-peat of gold medals.