Spanish NBA star is considering not going to the games in Rio
Two time Olympic gold medalist, Pau Gasol says that risk of zika is serious and questions if safety precautions are being actually taken. Other athletes have expressed similar fears.
Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol said on Monday (30/05) that considers not to participate at the Olympic Games in August, in Rio de Janeiro, due to the risks associated with the zika virus. The player is the pivot of Spain’s basketball selection and represented her country in the last three Olympics.
In the opinion piece published in the Spanish newspaper El Pais with the title “Olympic dream or nightmare of health”, Gasol questions the little resonance on the severity of the virus in the media and in public debate.
“These games, the first held in South America, can actually be unforgettable, but there is a risk that it will be for the wrong reasons,” said Gasol, silver medalist in the Olympic Games of Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The player places still concerned if the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of fans and athletes are being taken, “Or are putting economic interests ahead of the health of millions of people around the world” asks.
The pivot enumerates the risks of zika, like microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can cause paralysis, and cites a letter signed by 150 health experts directed the World Health Organization (who), in which it requested the postponement of the Rio 2016 or the transfer of the registered office to any region free of the outbreak, on the severity of the virus.
“The who’s response was denial. According to her, the fact that 500 1000 people who visit the River will not have consequences when they return to their countries. Both the health and sports international institutions as Governments, know the risks. If the Olympics is held, it will be with full knowledge of the facts. But who think of the athletes and the fans who go to Rio de Janeiro? “ponders Gasol.
The player said to be studying his participation in the Rio 2016, noting that the Olympic Games are the “most significant event” for athletes and to stay out of this competition is devastating for fans you can always watch the games in a good 2016 Olympics streaming website. “But you don’t mess with the health, and not just the health of each athlete, but also the fans, of the families who come to support athletes, of the families to which they will return once the competition ends.
Gasol is not the first athlete to mull over their participation in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 due to zika outbreak. The American football national team goalkeeper Hope Solo in February expressed concern because of the virus and said to be assessing his trip to the event in Rio de Janeiro.
“Until I know more, I feel I can make a decision based on the information really. If things remain as they are now, I probably won’t, “Solo said.
While Gasol and soil assess their participation in the event, golfers Marc Leishman, Australia, and Vijay Singh, of Fiji, have announced that they will not Rio 2016 because of zika outbreak. This is the first time that sports will be competed at the Olympics.
The United States Olympic Committee athletes participate in the competition released in Rio de Janeiro case fear the zika. Kenya, which already boasts some of the largest middle and long distance runners in the world, announced in February that it was evaluating sending athletes to the event.
“We already we made it clear that if we don’t clean up the locations of this potentially dangerous disease, we’re not going there,” he said at the time, the President of the Kenyan Olympic Committee Kipchoge Keino.