Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/6/13
When Pau Gasol walks into a room he's hard to miss. Even in a lobby of princes and princesses sheikhs and counts who also happen to be IOC members he's treated like royalty. Olympic officials saddled up to him for a picture. One even stood on a chair to greet him at eye level. The two-time NBA champ and two-time Olympic silver medalist is here to support Madrid's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics. On Saturday the IOC will choose between Madrid Istanbul and Tokyo. All three cities have significant issues: Spain has been in recession for most of the past four years and has a 26.3% unemployment rate. Tokyo is dealing with concerns over the radioactive water leaks from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Istanbul has the escalating civil war in neighboring Syria plus a doping scandal. All three cities have their strengths of course but only one has a global star giving its presentation. "We come here with great enthusiasm" Gasol said Thursday. "We have made every effort and will make every effort to the last minute so Madrid will be the chosen candidate on Saturday." It's Madrid's third consecutive attempt for the Games. Istanbul is making its fifth overall bid and Tokyo is making its second consecutive run."The fact that we've insisted in bidding haven't given up (shows commitment)" he said.
PLAYERS: Pau Gasol
TEAMS: Los Angeles Lakers
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