Pau Gasol May Opt to Freeze Sperm Before 2016 Rio Olympics Due to Zika Concerns

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2016

Spain's center Pau Gasol looks on during the final basketball match between Spain and Lithuania at the EuroBasket 2015 in Lille, northern France, on September 20, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/Getty Images

While many athletes are excited for the chance to represent their respective countries at the 2016 Rio Olympics, there are some who are also very edgy about making the trip to Brazil due to health concerns.

Specifically, there are concerns about the Zika virus, which is a disease spread through mosquito bites that has been linked to severe birth defects in babies birthed by women who have contracted the virus.

As we saw earlier this year, the United States women's national soccer team collectively is worried about the virus, with star goalie Hope Solo even considering (at the time) not playing in the Summer Games. While that is the most noteworthy example of concern, there have been many others who have voiced their misgivings.

Chicago Bulls forward and Spain star Pau Gasol recently revealed that "freezing sperm is one of the measures I have to consider," per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

The Zika virus has gotten the attention of all Olympic athletes, whether male or female. They want to play for their countries and compete for medals, but they also have to think about their long-term futures. Given that there are so many unknowns about the virus, it doesn't hurt to take precautionary measures.

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