Pau Gasol Considering Skipping Rio Olympic Games; Fears Zika Virus
Chicago Bulls’ big man, Pau Gasol, is strongly considering sitting out the Summer Olympics due to concerns about the Zika Virus in Rio. He is a two-time silver medalist for Spain’s national team, but he prioritizes the health of himself and his family ahead of adding to his collection of medals, as he should.
An excess of 100 medical experts have requested the games be moved or postponed. A group of respected public health experts composed a letter stating:
“An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic.”
Pau Gasol Speaks
Gasol expressed his concerns to a group of reporters:
“Some of these athletes are planning to have children in the near future, and this could affect them, it could affect the health of their kids and their wives. Their health should come first.”
There are multiple issues with the approaching Summer Games that have both fans and athletes cautious about making the trip to Rio. There’s the dangerously unhealthy water in which athletes are expected to compete. There’s high levels of crime in areas where fans will be relaxing and socializing. And now the Zika Virus panic can be added to the list.
In an editorial for the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Gasol wrote:
“Are we taking the precautions that will guarantee the health and safety of fans, athletes and other professionals who will travel to Rio, or are we putting financial concerns above the health of millions of people around the world? These Olympic Games, the first to be held in South America, could be unforgettable. The risk is that this could be for all the wrong reasons.”
Should Gasol miss the Olympics, it would be a huge loss for Spain, as they have medal aspirations. On the contrary, his absence from Rio would please his employer, the Chicago Bulls.
Gasol is 35 years-old and the Bulls would certainly prefer he prepare for next season without risking injury or exposure to exotic viruses.
(Pau Gasol Considering Skipping Rio Olympic Games)