Pau Gasol It is plethoric. At 39, his sports career recovers the best prospects. He recovers well from a foot injury that only allowed him to play three games with Milwaukee and prevented him from being in the World Cup with the national team. And at the same time, his teammates in the group led by Sergio Scariolo have responded in the best possible way and They have already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games and for the World Cup semifinals. In addition, he prepares his premiere this season with Portland, his new team in the NBA.
“My plans are to continue playing and I have the opportunity to do so in a very competitive team. I am looking forward to a good year and to be available to play the Olympic Games, ”explains the player during the presentation of his Foundation's agreement with the IFA Group held in Sant Boi, to fight against childhood obesity and promote healthy habits.
The pivot of the Blazers is cautious, speaks with great respect about the recovery of his foot injury and about his prospects of competing within a year in what would be his fifth Olympic Games, which would match the record of participations of a Spanish basketball player, his friend Juan Carlos Navarro. “I don't want to anticipate and talk about something that hasn't happened. It could be the fifth, yes. But I must have a good season, be well physically and I have to accompany health. But the desire to continue playing remain very present. That is what I will work every day. ”
Pau Gasol has participated in four editions of the Olympic Games. He obtained silver medals in Beijing-2008 and London-2012 and bronze in 2016 and was seventh in Athens-2004. He has been international 208 times and has 11 medals, four gold, four silver and three bronze.
The Gasol Foundation - led by Pau and Marc- and IFA Group on Thursday have signed an agreement in Sant Boi (Barcelona) to develop the Basket4All initiative. Through this program, the Gasol Foundation helps more than 300 prebenjamín, premini, benjamín, alevín, or children (6 to 13 years old) basketball teams from all over Spain with limited financial resources, so that they can implement and promote healthy habits related to physical activity, healthy eating, rest and sleep quality, as well as emotional well-being.
The presentation of the agreement was chaired by Pau Gasol, Juan Manuel Morales, general director of the IFA Group - leader in the distribution of food and consumer products in Spain - and Cristina Ribes, director of the Gasol Foundation.
The Spanish pivot did not want to be blunt about the possibility of continuing in the NBA once he turned 40, within a year. "I have not competed for many months and I work to withstand the burden of competing at the highest level there. And then, we'll see."
Pau Gasol praised the role of the Spanish team in the World Cup. “He has earned the right to that recognition that he can win the title. But, now, we have to think only of Australia, an unbeaten, experienced, powerful team with high level players. ”
The pivot of Sant Boi extended in his praise towards the selection. “He is playing an incredible role. No one gave much for them. In the first games we always start with a different march, but the combative spirit and cohesion of the group are extraordinary. And we are in the semifinals of the World Cup and they make me very proud. I am excited about the continuity of the group. It is difficult to have this performance over the years, regardless of who has been wonderful and enviable. I'm super happy".
And he was surprised when he was questioned about the criticisms that his brother Marc has received. “Whoever criticizes him should make a reflection. Spain has won all the matches and they are in the semifinals. Marc, without a doubt, is one of the leaders. It provides solidity, at the level of play and defense. It is something that may not appear in the statistics. And it is fundamental. His work in defense has been impeccable, admirable. It is one of the pillars and the most experienced. His role is very important. ”