With concern for the Zika virus looming over the Rio Olympics, many athletes are considering preventative measures ahead of the Games. Among the precautions being taken are the South Korean team sporting Zika-proof uniforms and the Australian team receiving Zika-proof condoms. Spain’s Pau Gasol is also contemplating an interesting measure: freezing his sperm.
Gasol, a two-time Olympic medalist, mentioned it was an option he was considering at a press conference back in June, and now, less than a month from the Games, it’s still something he is mulling over.
“Well, I’m still considering it,” Gasol told NBCOlympics.com. “I’m probably not going to disclose whether I’ve done it or not. That’s a personal decision.”
Gasol, who grew up wanting to be a doctor like his mother and has even scrubbed in for surgeries at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, put a lot of careful thought into his decision to participate in the Rio Games.
“I have faith that the IOC and the CDC and the WHO are going to do their jobs in order to protect and get themselves ready for the different possibilities that might happen,” Pau said.
Gasol, who has lost back-to-back Olympic finals to the United States, knows that he may not have many more opportunities to play in the Games.
“The commitment I have, the love that I have for the game, for my national team, for the Olympic experience and trying to win another Olympic medal for my country – knowing that I don’t have many opportunities left at this point in my career – all of those were factors for me to decide to play.”
Commitment and love for the game are important to Gasol, but health remains a priority for him.
“You’ve got to protect yourself and do whatever it takes, and if that involves freezing your sperm, that’s just one of the precautionary actions you can take,” said Gasol.