Pau Gasol appointed as spokesman for Madrid’s 2020 Olympic bid

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Pau Gasol is one of the few NBA players who might be just as closely associated with his national team as he is with playing for one of the league’s most iconic franchises.

Gasol has been playing for the Spanish team in international play essentially since the moment he was eligible, and along with tennis star Rafael Nadal, he may be his country’s most recognizable athlete.

All of that is a good place to start if you’re wondering why Madrid has appointed Gasol as one if its spokesmen in order to try to win a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

From the Associated Press:

In a statement issued Tuesday, the committee says Gasol, one of Spain’s most well-known athletes and a two-time Olympic silver medalist, will address the International Olympic Committee during Madrid’s final presentation in Buenos Aires next month.

Madrid is vying with Tokyo and Istanbul for the 2020 Summer Games, and the IOC will deliver its decision in Argentina on Sept. 7.

Gasol helped Spain win silver medals in both 2008 and 2012.