The newest development in the fears over the Zika virus comes from a player the San Antonio Spurs have been linked to in free agency.
Pau Gasol has recently said that if he were to go to Rio to play for Spain in the Summer Olympics, one of the precautions he’d consider taking would be freezing his sperm.
“Freezing sperm is one of the measures I have to consider,” Gasol admitted.
Zika virus has been linked to severe birth defects in children, and the logic behind this precaution would be to have a guaranteed “Zika-free” sample readily available if he were to actually contract the virus in the future.
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Gasol had previously said that he was unsure of whether he would attend the Olympics at all because of the health risks associated with the Zika virus.
The virus is spread by mosquitoes, and Brazil has fallen victim to a massive epidemic involving the effects of the Zika virus.
These newest comments from Gasol seem to indicate that he is leaning towards attending the Olympics, but will take the precautions necessary to protect himself and his family.
There is a larger picture to look at besides just a basketball tournament. Athletes feel a tremendous amount of pride in representing their country on the world’s largest athletic stage, but is that honor worth an athlete endangering the lives of not only themselves, but their partner and future children?
Gasol’s honest and open dialogue about this dilemma highlights fears that athletes should be very aware of. Each individual invited to participate in the Olympics will have to make a personal decision after talking to their loved ones about the possible consequences of fulfilling their dreams at the Olympics.
Safety is paramount in this scenario, and Gasol is helping to raise awareness of a crucial issue attached to these Olympics.