By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Pau Gasol was trying for so long to overcome his injury and get back to a condition that would allow him to compete on a high level of professional basketball. He had last played a game in March 2019 before undergoing surgery and then trying, unsuccessfully at first, to rehabilitate his foot.
Not only did Gasol manage to make his comeback with a return to Barcelona but also found himself playing in the EuroLeague Final and then winning the Spanish League championship with a major contribution in the playoffs. Now, he’s preparing for his fifth participation in the Olympic Games.
“At this point of my story, to be here, after what I’ve been through, the injury and the recovery I’ve had, it’s a great reward, a great gift and I’m trying to enjoy every day, every moment, with my teammates on the floor,” Gasol said after a practice with his national team, per Spanish news agency EFE. “Apart from doing it well.”
Spain will be giving its first friendly game ahead of the Olympics. Gasol and his teammates will be facing Iran to launch their preparation matches before they head to Tokyo at the end of July with the goal of a medal for a third straight Olympic tournament.
“The two finals against the USA were competitive finals, the one in Beijing we were closer, we faced great American teams with great players and in the end we fell a little short but with the feeling of having given everything and having options. We never became sad because of them [the results],” Gasol said. “The medals are hard to win, you have to value them all and winning a bronze in Rio was important, and now we have the great luck and the privilege of enjoying others.”
“Of course we would all like to win the gold, it will not be easy at all, for that you have to do everything very well, beat great teams, you have to start at the beginning, starting with Iran,” Gasol added.